Brussels, 25 April 2022
Tax advisers were under the spotlight on Monday during a hearing on their regulation in the European Parliament’s subcommittee on tax matters.
During the hearing, the representative from the European Commission announced that a legislative proposal to regulate tax advisors is in the works, with a public consultation scheduled for May.
MEPs heard from experts coming from academia, NGOs, and the tax professionals themselves.
Guest participants underlined the role that correct implementation of already agreed legislation should play, with some arguing that this was more important than agreeing new rules. Others said that the priority was to address the continued existence of politically stable tax havens such as Luxembourg or Switzerland which provided the environment for unscrupulous tax advisers to operate. Educating future tax advisers better, especially through a more thorough cursus on ethics was also put forward as part of the solution. Participants also said that the increased scrutiny from media and the ensuing reputational risk of unethical tax decisions was also helping the fight against such practices. Finally, the regulatory and cultural differences in the different member states was underlined as a problem which should be addressed by any future EU regulation.
MEPs asked how new technologies could be used to help tax compliance and for concrete examples of how university courses should be redesigned. MEPs also asked whether professional disciplinary measures should be introduced and how best to better address problems arising in the grey-zone (activities which may not be illegal but would be considered as unethical).
You can follow the hearing again here.