Professional Conduct in Relation to Taxation

Updated guidance is published

ICAEW, along with AAT, ACCA, ATT, CIOT, ICAS and STEP, have released today, 1 November 2016, updated guidance, Professional Conduct in relation to Taxation, on how tax advisers and agents should act in difficult situations.

Key points

  • The guidance has been endorsed by HMRC and sets out clear professional standards in relation to the facilitation and promotion of tax avoidance.
  • The guidance, formally known as Professional Conduct in Relation to Taxation (PCRT), has been in existence for over 20 years and is regularly updated. It sets out the high ethical standards which form the core of the tripartite relationship between tax adviser, client and HMRC. It supports the key role members play in helping clients comply with their tax obligations and their broader responsibilities to society.
  • This latest PCRT responds to the Government’s challenge to the professional bodies, made in March 2015, to take a greater lead in setting and enforcing clear professional standards around the facilitation and promotion of tax avoidance.

HMRC response

HMRC issued a “News Story” shortly after the release of the PCRT in which it said:

“In a letter to the seven professional bodies, the Financial Secretary to the Treasury, Jane Ellison MP, thanked them for their commitment to good tax compliance and responsible tax planning by responding to the government’s Budget 2015 challenge.

HMRC, as a key stakeholder, was consulted during the development of the new code and welcomes the fact that the regulatory bodies have taken up this challenge put to them in the March 2015 Budget.”

Further reading

In addition to the PCRT report, ICAEW has prepared a set of Q&A's to offer further guidance, and Michael Izza, ICAEW Chief Executive, has shared his views on tax avoidance on his blog.

Access to all these documents is available on the dedicated page on the ICAEW website which you can access by clicking here.