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Legislating the accountants’ concession - Considering the New Zealand experience


Tax advice is sought from professional advisers who are, in the main, in the legal or accounting professions. With the complexity of current taxation laws, including a plethora of complicated administrative and compliance obligations, it is in the public interest to ensure there are no disincentives to taxpayers seeking professional advice. Accounting professionals can also operate in areas in which legal professionals do not – for example tax compliance advice.

This article considers the current position in relation to advice sought from accounting professionals in Australia, the proposals in a discussion paper released by the Australian government in April 2011, and analyses the New Zealand position in relation to tax advice provided by accounting professionals.

This article highlights the very detailed nature of the New Zealand rules, demonstrating that Inland Revenue in New Zealand retains substantial control, and identifies a number of areas that need to be carefully considered in Australia at the outset when reform is being developed.

Author profile

Joanne Dunne CTA
Photo of author, Joanne DUNNE Joanne is a lawyer from Melbourne. She was formerly a tax partner at law firms in both Australia and New Zealand. She has more than 25 years’ tax experience in general income tax, GST, international tax, and tax controversy. Joanne is a member of a wide range of professional organisations, including The Tax Institute’s Tax Disputes Committee, and until 2020 she represented The Tax Institute on the ATO’s Dispute Resolution Working Group. - Current at 11 November 2021
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