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Article:

BDO LLP - Our principles when providing tax services

25 September 2020

At BDO LLP our goal is to make a positive impact on our clients, our people and our communities and to help people to succeed.

Our tax professionals across the UK adhere to common principles when providing tax services to our clients. In all the work we do (without exception) we are committed to acting:

  • Professionally
  • With integrity
  • In accordance with our values, and
  • In an ethically responsible manner.

What we do

Taxation can be extremely complex, particularly for businesses and individuals with activities overseas. Our primary role is to help our clients ‎to understand and interpret tax law and regulation so that they can manage their tax affairs in the context of their personal and business activities.  This includes advising clients in relation to their compliance obligations so that they pay the correct amount of tax at the right time.

We always seek to ensure that our advice to clients adheres to the guidance of our governing professional bodies – in particular the ICAEW and CIOT’s joint guidance entitled 'Professional Conduct in Relation to Taxation' (PCRT). The PCRT sets a standard of professional behaviour that is endorsed by HMRC in its own Standards for Agents.

In particular, our work is undertaken in accordance with the following principles:

  1. We shall be objective in the advice and opinions we give to our clients. We shall not allow bias, conflict of interest, or inappropriate influence of others to override our professional judgments and responsibilities.
     
  2. All advice shall be supported by an appropriate basis in tax law and, where differing interpretations can reasonably be taken, we will explain the implications to our clients clearly and objectively.
     
  3. We shall provide advice to clients that is tailored to their specific facts and circumstances. We shall not promote aggressive tax avoidance schemes, nor will we advise on highly contrived or artificial tax planning arrangements. We actively and fully support the efforts of HMRC, professional bodies and other stakeholders to eliminate such activities.
     
  4. We shall maintain a completely transparent relationship with HMRC, providing full and proper disclosure in tax returns, and related correspondence, and not permitting the misrepresentation or obfuscation of any material facts.
     
  5. We shall encourage our clients to consider the wider risks associated with their tax affairs, including the reputational risks arising from the way others might view a particular course of action.

What to expect from us

We shall only act for clients who share our high standards of ethics and integrity and who expect tax professionals to work with them in this way.  We will not assist clients with tax planning that could reasonably be considered to bring the profession, the firm, individual partners or members of staff into disrepute, or which relies for its success on anything less than full disclosure to HMRC.

We expect all of our tax partners and staff to apply these principles in the way they work. We seek to ensure that our work is carried out in accordance with the firm’s procedures, which meet relevant professional, legal and regulatory requirements. We have an open and supportive culture which encourages partners and staff to consult whenever they are in doubt or to raise any concerns if something does not ‘feel right’.