AADB to handle public interest avoidance cases

PUBLIC INTEREST tax avoidance cases could be handed to the AADB by the ICAEW as part of its disciplinary procedure, the institute has said.

Last week, institute members were issued guidance on how to spot contrived tax avoidance schemes and were advised that involvement in such schemes could see them held as bringing the profession into disrepute.

Concerns that practitioners could be held negligent if they fail to make clients aware of all available options have been allayed by Frank Haskew, head of the ICAEW’s tax faculty.

He said: “You wouldn’t be held negligent for not putting that [contrived schemes] in front of a client, because by their very nature they’re unlikely to succeed if they went to court.”

The AADB confirmed that in major public interest cases, it could take on disciplinary cases on avoidance.

It said: “The AADB deals only with those cases which raise or appear to raise important issues affecting the public interest in the UK and which need to be investigated to determine whether there may have been an act of misconduct.

“The AADB can request the ICAEW’s view on whether the criteria for an investigation by the AADB is met and should therefore be dealt with by the AADB.”

Accountancy Age understands that the institute will mainly rely on complaints from clients and colleagues in bringing proceedings against members. To date, no members have ever been disciplined for involvement in tax avoidance.

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