CIOT releases updated ethical conduct guide for tax professionals

The latest version of the Professional Conduct in Relation to Taxation for tax advisers and accountants has been released by the CIOT and ATT, replacing the February 2014 version and updated to reflect the increasingly heated debate around tax avoidance, ever-increasing HMRC powers and potential conflicts of interest over government secondments

The 52-page guidance in PDF format contains new material on electronic filing, decisions of courts and tribunals, disclosure of tax avoidance scheme (DOTAS), promoters of tax avoidance schemes (POTAS), accelerated payments and follower notices as well as an expanded chapter on tax planning.

There is also information about potential areas of conflict when staff are seconded to HMRC.

On the secondment issue, the ethics code states: ‘Upon completion of the secondment the secondee and his employer should be alert to the risk of being seen to have taken undue advantage of information gained whilst working for HMRC.

'Factual statements about the individual having undertaken a secondment, particularly in a CV, would be unexceptional, but active promotion of knowledge and experience gained may be inappropriate.'

There is also additional commentary reflecting ongoing developments and public concern about aggressive tax avoidance and evasion. 

The code of conduct is also available in different formats including HTML on the ICAEW, ACCA, ICAS and STEP websites.

The CIOT/ATT guidance is available here

Diane Tan |Content manager - current awareness, CCH

Diane Tan is content manager, current awareness at CCH, Wolters Kluwer UK

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