Accountants vie for client privilege
The Institute of Public Accountants (IPA) is seeking to establish client privileges for accountants similar to those enjoyed by lawyers in protecting their tax advice to clients.
The IPA argues that Australia is out of touch with accountancy practices around the world, with accountants in New Zealand, the UK and US all enjoying protection.
July 15 was the deadline submission date for the Federal Government’s consultation period on introducing a tax advice privilege. It is believed that senior representatives from both financial and government sectors are meeting to further discuss the possibility of setting up privilege laws.
Privilege rights for accountants has long been an issue, but the topic has recently received a burst of attention after Assistant Treasurer Bill Shorten released a discussion paper on the topic early this year after describing the lack of a privilege as putting the sector at a competitive disadvantage.