ETAF Charter

In the spirit of ETAF’s main missions, our Members elaborated and signed a mutual Code of Conduct in 2018,
namely the ETAF Charter of Regulated European Tax Advisers.

The Charter contains general rules which deal with professional due diligence, the independence and objectivity of the represented professions, mandatory professional training and confidentiality, as well as specific provisions for the quality of tax advice and professional relations.


This Charter contains principles which shall be observed by regulated tax advisers in the exercise of their professional functions. The principles of this Charter aim at ensuring quality and effectiveness of the professional services delivered by tax advisers to their clients and the regularity of the behaviour in their relations with third parties, such as tax authorities, colleagues and members of other professional bodies.
The present Charter applies to regulated tax advisers whose organisations are Members of the European Tax Adviser Federation (ETAF). The ETAF Members are called upon to adapt their respective professional regulations to the rules laid down in the present Charter, as far as it lies within their competence.
Public Interest
Regulated tax advisers represent their clients, but have also the obligation to exercise their profession in due consideration of the general public interest. Regulated tax advisers are therefore subject to particular professional rules and practice guidelines. Belonging to a liberal profession, regulated tax advisers play a key role in the proper functioning of the tax collection process, which lies in the general public interest. The tax administration, on the grounds of such a binding professional law framework, places trust in the quality and the full compliance of the regulated tax advisers’ work. The tax administration is reliant on complete and correctly filled in tax declarations. Regulated tax advisers shall exercise their professional activities in full awareness of this special position of trust and their responsibility for the functioning and stability of the tax system.
Due Diligence
Regulated tax advisers must practice their profession in due diligence, independently and under their own responsibility. They must respect and observe laws, rules and regulations and must act with integrity and correctness. In the exercise of their profession, they shall abstain from any action or activities which are not compatible with the profession or the reputation of the profession. Regulated tax advisers must not be associated with any communication or statements that contain untruthful or misleading information or omit fundamental information resulting in misleading communication or statements.
Independence and objectivity
Regulated tax advisers must fully comply with the national rules on independence, impartiality and incompatibility in relation to the nature of the task entrusted to them. They may not engage in any case of collision with their own interests. Regulated tax advisers must further act without prejudice or pressures from third parties that may influence their judgement or professional activity. They shall deliver their opinion without being influenced by the expectations of the client and must substantiate with objectivity any concern on their hypotheses and/or conclusions.
High-level quality of services and mandatory professional training
Regulated tax advisers must fulfil their duties professionally and according to the professional standards. They are required to maintain their professional competence at the necessary level to ensure the quality of professional service according to the current professional practices and techniques. Regulated tax advisers are therefore obliged to pursue continuous professional training to the extent which is necessary to ensure and further develop the expertise which is required for their professional activities.
Regulated tax advisers must maintain absolute confidentiality of information acquired in the exercise of the profession and must not disclose such information to anyone, except if they are entitled or obliged to communicate such information in accordance with the law.
Professional behaviour
The professional behaviour of tax advisers must be consistent with the dignity, honour and image of the profession they represent and furthermore must comply with the duty of loyalty in performing their professional activity.


Tax evasion
Tax evasion is illegal. Regulated tax advisers must never advise a client to enter into an arrangement that would lead to tax evasion. They must advise a client not to enter into this kind of arrangements. Where a Regulated tax adviser acquires information leading him to the conclusion that a client has committed tax evasion, he must advise the client to change the respective tax structure and, if necessary, recommend him to proceed with self-disclosure to the relevant authorities.
Tax planning
Regulated tax advisers may advise a client in relation to tax planning only if such planning leads to a legal reduction of taxes. Regulated tax advisers should advise the client in relation to the potential reputational impact of aggressive tax planning and consider the reputational impact for the profession as well.


Relations with other tax advisers
Regulated tax advisers must interact with colleagues in fairness, loyalty, consideration, courtesy, friendliness and mutual assistance.
Relations with public offices
Regulated tax advisers should behave with respect for the public functions when they come into contact with tax authorities, magistrates, members of tax commissions or any other public official.
Relations with other professions
Regulated tax advisers who, in the exercise of their activity, come into contact with members of other professional bodies must comply with the principles of mutual respect safeguarding the respective specific competences.


In the ETAF Member States, there are already binding national rules providing that regulated tax advisers who fail to comply with national professional law based on the principles, obligations and prohibitions established by this Charter shall face the disciplinary actions and penalties as provided for by their national regulation. ETAF strongly approves such disciplinary control.
The power to apply disciplinary sanctions and the procedure to apply such sanctions lie with the ETAF Member in whose Register the concerned tax adviser is enrolled.
ETAF is a registered organisation in the EU Transparency Register, with the register identification number 760084520382-92.

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