Tax justice positive 8: Ethically motivated professions

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Tax justice means being in favour of ethically motivated professions. This requires that:

a. Professional people seek to determine their client's objectives and do not assume they wish to minimise the tax they pay;
b. Professional people publish clear guidelines as to what they will, and will not tolerate as acceptable, compliant tax practices so that clients know what they might expect from the firms they engage;
c. Professional people encourage tax compliance and full disclosure of all transactions;
d. Professional firms refuse to act for those clients who refuse to practice tax compliance.

Being in favour of a culture of Ethically motivated professions means that we are opposed to the failure of professional ethics. Evidence of the failure of professional ethics includes:

a. Firms act in what they believe to be the interests of clients, without checking that to be true;
b. Firms act defensively i.e. they will tax avoid because they have not eliminated the risk from clients of not doing so;
c. Ethics are considered to relate only to the relationship with clients, and not to that with other parties;
d. Tax minimisation is assumed to be normal;
e. Profit for the professional firm is the driving force behind the advice provided;
f. Tax compliance and full disclosure is not encouraged.