OECD review to cast eye over tax adviser pay

HM Revenue & Customs has
taken responsibility for looking into concerns of
countries about tax avoidance and the activities of advisers in relation to

A source at the UK tax authority said the report would look at ‘what works
and what does not work’, as well as ‘how advisers are remunerated’.

Different tax schemes see advisers paid in different ways. Charity tax
arrangements which have seen taxpayers claim back huge sums in an alleged abuse
of Gift Aid rules sometimes see advisers pick up 10% of the relief gained.

The UK has been picked to lead the report on the understanding that it has
carved out a happy medium on tax avoidance, in avoiding the escalating conflicts
between advisers and tax authorities as in the US, and in simultaneously
cracking down.

The moves follow the Seoul declaration, which recently saw OECD countries
agree to a strongly worded statement on the risks to tax revenues and their
determination to tackle them.

The body will examine ‘the role of tax intermediaries (law and accounting
firms, tax advisors and financial institutions) in relation to non-compliance
and the promotion of unacceptable tax minimisation arrangements with a view to
completing a study by the end of 2007’.

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