ETAF unveils its manifesto for upcoming European elections

April 9, 2024

The European Tax Adviser Federation (ETAF) is pleased to release a manifesto outlining key priorities for its members in view of the upcoming European elections. Divided into six pillars, the document sets out no fewer than 25 recommendations to the European Commission and the European Parliament for the next five years, to ensure that the EU tax system is simpler, rationalised and future-proof.

“As much as the EU matters for the tax profession, we do believe that the tax profession matters for the EU. Tax advisers play an important role in the tax collecting process in the Member States and create a relationship of trust between taxpayers and tax authorities. They have become over the years an indispensable guide for SMEs and individuals through the complexity of national and EU taxation. This fundamental role for the society as well as the benefits of professional regulation must finally be recognised and protected at EU level”, commented Philippe Arraou, ETAF President.

1. Promotion of professional regulation: we urge the European Commission to promote the development of national professional law frameworks and, in particular, encourage every EU Member State to regulate tax advising activity, ensure high levels of access qualification and continuous mandatory professional training, as well as set up professional organisations with mandatory membership and sanctioning competencies.

2. Safeguarding professional secrecy: we ask the European Commission and co-legislators to better protect professional secrecy in EU legislation by ensuring the respect of national rules as well as a fair treatment of the tax profession compared to lawyers and auditors when it comes to professional secrecy.

3. Rationalisation of EU reporting requirements: while welcoming the recent announcement from the current European Commission towards greater rationalisation of EU reporting requirements, we ask all EU legislative institutions to engage in a consistent and permanent reduction of bureaucratic burden.

4. The profession in the digital age: in the bloom of digital age, we advocate for the continuation of the principle “what’s illegal offline should be illegal online” and of the country of destination principle in order to keep the same professional, ethical, and quality standards as traditional tax advisers.

5. Develop tax education and tax honesty: we recommend to the next European Commission and European Parliament to create a holistic approach towards tax education, including encouraging Member States to adopt a tax education programme in secondary school, and to launch a reflection at EU level on how to achieve more tax honesty.

6. An inclusive approach to stakeholder engagement: while recognising the continued efforts of the European Commission and the European Parliament to engage with the public, we advocate for a more inclusive, comprehensive and structured approach to stakeholder engagement, ensuring that the voices of experts and practitioners are heard effectively, for the sake of well-founded and effective EU policies.

Based on the above-mentioned recommendations, ETAF looks forward to engaging in constructive dialogue with future policy makers on how to make the EU tax system simpler, rationalised and future-proof EU.

The full manifesto can be accessed here.

Notes to editors:

For media enquiries, please contact: Marion Fontana, EU Policy Officer, [email protected], Phone: +32 2 2350 105 | Mobile: +32 471 78 90 64

ETAF is a registered organisation in the EU Transparency Register, with the register identification number 760084520382-92.

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