New regulations that require tax advisers to report tax avoidance schemes being used by clients have been referred to the attorney general over concerns accountants will be put to a disadvantage to tax lawyers, according to The Sunday Business Post.
Tax lawyers can claim legal privilege for their clients so they would not have to report any concerns to the Revenue and tax professionals such as accountants claim this is unfair.
The main purpose of the scheme is to act as an early warning system for Revenue to give the taxman time to assess the schemes before dealing with them or not. Now, the Department of Finance says “there may be a competitiveness issue that needs to be considered”.
“There appears to be a weakness in the operational disclosure regime, where tax lawyers are concerned, that needs to be addressed,” said a spokesman. “Accordingly, Minister for Finance Brian Lenihan has sought the advice of the attorney general on what operational changes might be made to the disclosure rules.”