Grant Thornton urges ban on patenting tax advice

has called on the US to delay finalising proposed regulations which
add a patented transactions category to the list of reportable transactions,
while Congress considers an appropriate legislative solution.

‘Tax advice and tax strategies are rooted in public law,’ Mark Stutman, Grant
Thornton managing partner, taxation services, said in a letter to the
US Treasury Department
and the Internal Revenue Service, reports.

‘Granting a patent on such strategies and advice allows the patent holder to
control or charge another taxpayer for applying law enacted for the potential
benefit of every taxpayer. This is unfair and should not be allowed.’

‘Our view is that, permitting tax advice or tax strategies to be patented
undermines confidence in the tax system and should be legislatively precluded.
Tax advice and tax strategies are rooted in public law.’

He also said attempts to regulate the use of tax patents through additional
disclosure obligations would introduce inefficiencies, uncertainties and
considerable taxpayer burdens into the tax compliance process.

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