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ETAF welcomes the FISC hearing on reinforcing the regulation of tax intermediaries

On 25 April 2022, the subcommittee on tax matters (FISC) of the European Parliament held a hearing on "how to reinforce the regulation of intermediaries to create an intermediary sector that ensures a fair and user-friendly tax system". As the European federation for regulated tax advisers, ETAF commends the outcomes of the hearing and the growing attention given to this topic by European decision-makers.

We particularly welcome the announcement from the European Commission of a public consultation on the regulation of tax advice at EU level, to be launched on 11-12 May until 20 July 2022. We look forward to contributing to this complex debate.

“Yesterday’s hearing showed that finding a solution is not easy - ranging between the considerations about the legal certainty on the one hand and the need for action on the other hand”, reacted ETAF President Philippe Arraou. “We hope that the Commission will keep its promise to target the “rotten apples” and not to overburden the whole tax profession”, he added.

ETAF believes that a strict regulation of tax professionals in the EU can make a significant and valuable contribution to the stability of our tax systems. In this spirit, all ETAF Members signed our “Charter of Regulated European Tax Advisers”, which represents a common framework for tax professionals.

We are convinced that measures like high levels of access qualification, continuous mandatory professional training, membership to a professional organisation with sanctioning competencies and guarantees for an independent exercise of the profession throughout the EU would lead to a high quality of tax adviser’s services and thus contribute to the fight against tax avoidance.

“Although the Commission said that it does not intend to regulate the profession as such, ETAF will keep advocating for a harmonised European approach on the role and status of regulated tax advisers, as we truly believe that our profession can help reach a fair taxation”, concluded Philippe Arraou.

Due to the high relevance of this topic and the role that regulated tax advisers can play, ETAF is planning a conference entitled “Professional regulation: a cornerstone for curbing down abusive tax avoidance” on 14 June 2022 in Brussels to further explore this topic with high-end decision takers on European level.