The CIOT has responded to Thursday’s report from the House of Commons Public Accounts Committee (PAC).

The report states that ‘the big accountancy firms sell tax advice… which serve to avoid UK taxes.’

It also says: ‘the professional bodies of the accountancy profession should emphasise the importance to accountancy firms of behaving responsibly in selling tax advice to clients’.

The CIOT’s response

Peter Fanning, Chief Executive of the CIOT, responded:
‘The CIOT works to ensure that our members follow appropriate and high professional standards with proper respect for UK tax law.

‘Tax advisers within the CIOT and other tax and accountancy bodies are bound by a code of professional conduct – which HMRC see in draft and can comment on – which sets out the standards required of them. This code is public and is enforced by an independent disciplinary process.

Tax professionals save the government money

‘The PAC has previously recognised the importance of tax advisers to the smooth operation of the tax system. Tax agents save the Government money both by helping their clients get their tax bills right and by taking on tasks that would otherwise fall to HMRC.

‘Every year CIOT members donate tens of thousands of hours of their time to helping HMRC improve the tax system not only for large businesses, but also for small business, families and individuals, including those on lower incomes.

Tax professionals are expert consultants

‘Tax policy is set by government, and tax law is laid down by Parliament. This is as it should be. However the CIOT and tax professionals more widely stand ready to help. Problematic tax policy and legislation often arises where there is a paucity of consultation. When it comes to the process of making good tax law, that accurately and effectively delivers the Government’s objectives, tax advisers are part of the solution.’

Read the full Public Accounts Committee report.

Find out more about working in tax.

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