Friday, August 03, 2012

ICAEW's Helpsheet On Aggressive Tax Avoidance

The ICAEW has issued a Helpsheet to remind its members of the terms of its own Code of Ethics and its guidance on professional conduct in relation to taxation. The Helpsheet focuses on the "aggressive end" of the tax planning spectrum and provides practical guidance.

It is sad to see that the ICAEW appears to be running scared wrt the tax avoidance witch-hunt orchestrated by dog whistle politicians and the media.

The helpsheet quite correctly states:
"Tax is a question of law and it’s the Government’s job to decide what legal tax planning arrangements it wishes to prevent."
However, it then goes on to imply that members should take a "moral" decision on behalf of third parties (ie clients)  wrt the "morality" or otherwise of legal (subject to a challenge in the courts) arrangements that may or may not reduce their business expenditure (ie taxes).

It would be far more constructive, and beneficial to the nation's finances, if the ICAEW were to set the agenda and push for a simpler tax system which would in effect make these schemes obsolete.

1 comment:

  1. To be fair, the ICAEW is pretty keen on, and active in lobbying for, a simpler tax system as well, providing it's still fit for purpose. See