Legal privilege for tax advisers long overdue: IPA

The Institute of Public Accountants (IPA) has reiterated its calls to the Government to extend legal privilege to professional tax advisers, noting five years had passed since the Australian Law Reform Commission (ALRC) advocated for this move.

In response to ALRC's recommendation, the Government had released a discussion paper in April 2011, but the profession had not heard anything since, according to IPA chief executive officer, Andrew Conway.

"The accounting profession is one of high ethical standards and we have earned the trust of the public in fulfilling an advisory role on tax law," Conway said. "It is about time the law reflected the importance of such advice and protected the parties in question."

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The IPA has made this recommendation in its pre-Budget submission 2012-13, noting that Australia was now lagging behind our contemporaries, such as the UK and the US.

"Consumers should have access to the same legal protection and safeguards regardless of whether they seek tax advice from a lawyer or accountant," Conway added. 

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