STRONG OPPOSITION has been voiced against the ICAEW's move to outline how advising on aggressive tax avoidance is a potential disciplinary matter.
Three-quarters of the 60 readers polled online by Accountancy Age said they did not agree with the ICAEW's decision, while 17% were completely behind the move. Some 5% agreed, but felt the guidance was too vague, and 3% were unsure.
The help sheet, released on 27 July, outlines how to spot tax avoidance schemes and advises that involvement in such schemes could see members held as bringing the profession into disrepute.
At present, the ICAEW is the only institute to have taken such a stance, while there has been a mixed reaction from other professional bodies. The UK200Group has been critical of the stance, while the Society of Professional Accountants – which represents about 1,600 accountants in small practices as well as sole practitioners – has been more supportive.
Should Should AADB disciplinary reprimands be based on the size of the sinner or the sin? Click here to vote in Accountancy Age's latest poll.
As accountants we have a duty to comply with the spirit rather than the letter of the law/regulation. This is the foundation of our training.
If you are just helping people to dodge tax, that's a pretty poor contribution to society.
Posted by: Paul Davies, 15 Aug 2012 | 11:55
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