Piergiorgio Valente
15 novembre 2013

Tax advisers’ responsibilities. The debate at the 6th European Conference on Tax Advisers’ Professional Affairs (22.11.2013) (co-authors: Dick Barmentlo and Ivo Caraccioli)

The 6th Conference of the Professional Affairs Committee of the CFE (Confédération Fiscale Européenne), “Change of climate in taxation: are you prepared for extended responsibilities?”, will be held in Milan on November 22, 2013. Organized by the CFE, in cooperation with IPSOA Business School and ANTI (Associazione Nazionale Tributaristi Italiani), the Conference will represent a major opportunity for debating on the new responsibilities of the tax adviser in transnational activities.

Over the last few years, the intensification, at the EU and international level, of actions aimed at fighting so-called “harmful tax practices” led to a redefinition of the concept of “abuse of law” and to the creation of a “grey area” of legal uncertainty, which, in addition to producing a deterrent effect on taxpayers, might affect the tax advisers’ approach toward their professional activity. The growing expectations of Tax Authorities in terms of commitments and responsibilities undertaken by tax advisers in carrying out their functions raise several questions on the possible evolutions of their professional activities. The possible practical implications of a shift from a legal to a moral approach in the exercise of the consultancy activities by tax practitioners will be object of discussion.

During the conference, the complex role of the tax adviser as a go-between connecting the State and the taxpayer will be examined with reference to important OECD studies such as the May 2013 Report “Co-operative Compliance: A Framework from Enhanced Relationship to Co-operative Compliance” and the 2008 “Study into the Role of Tax Intermediaries”.

Further, the debate will tackle the question of to what extent a tax advisers’ responsibility may stem from advice provided in the past, when the debate and the developments related to abuse of law and aggressive tax planning schemes were not particularly relevant. It is essential to reflect on the multitude of issues that tax advisers have to take into account with regard to the consultancy activity they will carry out in the future; in this respect, the risks for tax consultants can assume several forms including civil liability, potential exclusion from bidding for public procurement contracts, and criminal liability.


  • Understanding current national and international actions aimed at contrasting tax evasion, tax avoidance, and aggressive tax planning, as well as their possible impact on the professional activity of tax advisers.
  • Reflecting on the role of the tax adviser as an “intermediary” between the State and the taxpayer and on the possible consequences of a moral approach to the consultancy activity.
  • Identifying responsibilities and risks that might be taken on by tax advisers as a consequence of recent international changes in the interpretation of the concepts of “abuse of law” and “aggressive tax planning”.

To join our discussion on this topic, please write your name (“nome”), your email (which will be kept private), your website (“Sito web,” if you have one), and your comment in the blank boxes below.

© Piergiorgio Valente



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Un commento a “ Tax advisers’ responsibilities. The debate at the 6th European Conference on Tax Advisers’ Professional Affairs (22.11.2013) (co-authors: Dick Barmentlo and Ivo Caraccioli) ”

  1. Raffaele scrive:

    Very interesting topic. I’d like to be informed about the evolutions of this.
    Thank you

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