From June 2022 to January 2023, a German member of the European Tax Adviser Federation (ETAF), the Bundessteuerberaterkammer (BStBK), conducted a Europe-wide survey on the regulation of tax advisory professions in Europe. 23 professional organisations from 21 different countries participated.
The aim of the survey was to provide a comprehensive picture of the existing landscape of professional regulations in Europe in order to identify overlaps and common grounds, and in fine to find solutions for the tax advisory sector, which has come under increased attention due to several international tax revelations in recent years.
Participating organisations were asked about general professional characteristics, conditions of access to the profession, organisational structures, existing registration requirements, the framework of exercising the profession, professional obligations as well as supervision and possible sanctions.
The results clearly show that the landscape of tax advisory professions in Europe is very broad and differentiated. Nevertheless, the authors also found that in many countries there are more regulatory systems than often assumed. The regulatory approaches studied range from a (voluntary) membership in a professional organisation, which usually requires a certain level of education and the compliance with a professional Code of Conduct, to the protection of a title or licence (by law) and reserving tax advisory activities to a certain profession.
In particular, the survey shows that Germany, Austria, Belgium, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Liechtenstein, Poland and Slovakia have similar strong regulatory systems in which members of the profession are (mandatory) members of a self-administered organisation, which itself is supervised by the State. In addition, the respective professions are also subject to national legislations and sanctions in case of misconduct. Moreover, the authors found that, in countries such as France or Portugal, where the title of tax adviser as such does not exist, highly similar regulatory systems are in place.
The results of the survey shall feed the current public debate around the regulation of the tax advisory profession in Germany as well as on the European and International levels.
Notes to editors
For media enquiries, please contact Ronja Heydecke, Junior Manager at BStBK | Email: [email protected] | Phone: +32 2 2350 100
Although the authors have made every effort to ensure that the information gathered in this publication was correct and while this publication is designed to provide information about regulatory approaches concerning tax advisory professions in Europe, neither ETAF, nor the Bundessteuerberaterkammer K.d.ö.R., nor the authors assume responsibility for errors, inaccuracies or any other inconsistencies. The publication does not reflect the official position of ETAF nor should it be taken as a written statement on behalf of ETAF.