CIOT and ATT: Tax bodies respond to professional standards call

Two leading professional bodies for tax practitioners have responded to today’s call from the Government for professional bodies to do more in relation to professional standards and tax avoidance.

In a joint statement in response to the Government’s paper, CIOT President Anne Fairpo and ATT President Natalie Miller said:

“We acknowledge that we share with the tax authorities the task of maintaining trust in the tax system. We are committed to continuing to work with government to do this.

“People are entitled to expect, and get, high ethical and professional standards from their tax advisers. Tax advisers within the CIOT, ATT and other professional bodies in tax and accountancy are bound by a robust code of professional conduct which sets out the standards required of them. This code requires members to comply with five fundamental principles: integrity, objectivity, professional competence and due care, confidentiality and professional behaviour. The code is public and has been in place for many years.

“We believe this code does its job well. It is revised regularly to ensure it continues to be relevant. The current version was issued only last year but we continue to work with the other professional bodies, and in liaison with HMRC, in reviewing and revising the code as necessary. We will take on board the Chief Secretary’s challenge to look carefully at whether it needs further strengthening in relation to avoidance.”

Notes for editors

1.       Paragraph 3.19 on the Government’s paper, ‘Tackling Tax Evasion and Avoidance’, states:

Today, the government also announced it is asking the regulatory bodies who police professional standards to take on a greater lead and responsibility in setting and enforcing clear professional standards around the facilitation and promotion of avoidance to protect the reputation of the tax and accountancy profession and to act for the greater public good.

2.       The Chartered Institute of Taxation

The Chartered Institute of Taxation (CIOT) is the leading professional body in the United Kingdom concerned solely with taxation. The CIOT is an educational charity, promoting education and study of the administration and practice of taxation. One of our key aims is to work for a better, more efficient, tax system for all affected by it – taxpayers, their advisers and the authorities. The CIOT’s work covers all aspects of taxation, including direct and indirect taxes and duties. Through our Low Incomes Tax Reform Group (LITRG), the CIOT has a particular focus on improving the tax system, including tax credits and benefits, for the unrepresented taxpayer.

The CIOT draws on our members’ experience in private practice, commerce and industry, government and academia to improve tax administration and propose and explain how tax policy objectives can most effectively be achieved. We also link to, and draw on, similar leading professional tax bodies in other countries.  The CIOT’s comments and recommendations on tax issues are made in line with our charitable objectives: we are politically neutral in our work.


The CIOT’s 17,000 members have the practising title of ‘Chartered Tax Adviser’ and the designatory letters ‘CTA’, to represent the leading tax qualification.

Association of Taxation Technicians

The Association is a charity and the leading professional body for those providing UK tax compliance services. Our primary charitable objective is to promote education and the study of tax administration and practice. One of our key aims is to provide an appropriate qualification for individuals who undertake tax compliance work. Drawing on our members' practical experience and knowledge, we contribute to consultations on the development of the UK tax system and seek to ensure that, for the general public, it is workable and as fair as possible. Our members are qualified by examination and practical experience. They commit to the highest standards of professional conduct and ensure that their tax knowledge is constantly kept up to date. Members may be found in private practice, commerce and industry, government and academia.

The Association has over 7,500 members and Fellows together with over 5,000 students. Members and Fellows use the practising title of 'Taxation Technician' or ‘Taxation Technician (Fellow)’ and the designatory letters 'ATT' and 'ATT (Fellow)' respectively.