Global Tax Code of Conduct
What we do
Our main business objective is to support clients to:
- understand their legal and regulatory obligations for taxation;
- plan their affairs so as to be tax efficient in the business decisions they make; and
- manage the tax risks in their business which include their compliance obligations, corporate governance and financial accounting risks centered on relevant internal controls and proper financial reporting.
Who we work for
We will work with clients that demonstrate high standards of legitimacy and integrity in their business activities. Before accepting clients, and in continuing those relationships, we look to satisfy ourselves that the client intends to seek to comply with their legal and regulatory obligations, in relation to taxation, and in this regard we pay particular attention to:
- The reputation of the client and its activities;
- understanding who is behind the client both in terms of control and influence and the legitimacy of any financial interests or funding;
- The integrity of management;
- Relevant ethical, professional and regulatory requirements;
- Other relationships and the necessary management of potential conflicts of interest.
How we work
We will act in accordance with local laws, give proper disclosure as required by those laws, strive to apply the highest possible technical standards and comply with professional standards of integrity and objectivity.
Our work is undertaken in accordance with our Global Code of Conduct:
- All tax advice which results in positions taken in a client’s tax return must be supported by a credible basis in tax law. Our business is to advise on all aspects of tax law, including anomalies, differing interpretations etc. Often tax law is open to differing interpretations and these should always be discussed with the client. It is open to a client to take what may be regarded as a "favorable" position provided there is support in law and proper disclosure.
- No tax planning advice must rely in any way on less than full disclosure. Where the law is open to differing interpretations and a "favorable" position is taken on a return following advice, the level of disclosure will necessarily be sufficient to comply with the law and we will advise clients, where relevant, that the disclosure should also be sufficient to enable Tax Authorities to make further enquiries should they wish to do so. Disclosure will include also the registration of tax avoidance arrangements with the Tax Authorities where this is required by law or regulations, and any other information-sharing obligation to the Tax Authorities to which the client may have committed.
- Tax planning advice must be given in the knowledge of the actual facts and circumstances of the client concerned. We will always operate on the basis that we must know our clients and their affairs. Recommending a particular course of action will follow discussion with the client. Tax planning that does not fit with a client’s facts and circumstances will not be recommended.
- Tax planning advice must always involve discussion of the wider risks involved, including how our client’s actions might be viewed by others. Tax planning, like many other matters, involves the balancing of various risks. These risks include tax technical, legal and related areas (e.g. the risks that a particular tax planning strategy will not ultimately be successful), but also include reputational and commercial risks arising from the way others (e.g. shareholders, government, taxing agencies etc) might view a particular course of action. It is part of our business to discuss these areas with our clients. Whilst ultimately it is for each client to decide how they wish to plan their own tax affairs, we should be satisfied that they have a full understanding of the likely consequences of their actions.
- We are advisers on tax planning and not principals or counterparties. Our business includes advising clients on tax planning. We will not act as principals or counterparties in tax planning with our clients as to do so would compromise our objectivity.