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Professional conduct in relation to taxation (PCRT)

Professional Conduct in Relation to Taxation (PCRT) has been updated making it easier to navigate with a new digital structure. This edition is effective from 1 March 2019.

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Download Professional Conduct in Relation to Taxation.

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PCRT now consists of the fundamental principles and the standards for tax planning. Compliance with PCRT is mandatory for members advising on UK tax matters. Members must be familiar with and comply with PCRT and a failure to do so may result in disciplinary action.

Key points

  • PCRT is prepared jointly by seven professional bodies and associations, including ICAEW, whose members work in tax. The seven professional bodies are listed in para 1.11.
  • PCRT has been in existence for over 20 years and is regularly updated. It sets out the high ethical standards which form the core of the tripartite relationship between tax adviser, client and HMRC.
  • The latest PCRT responds to the government’s challenge to the professional bodies to take a greater lead in setting and enforcing clear professional standards around the facilitation and promotion of tax avoidance.
  • PCRT has been endorsed by HMRC as an acceptable basis for dealings between members and HMRC.

Helpsheets

PCRT is supported by supplementary help sheets which replace Parts 3 and 4 of the 2017 edition of PCRT. There are five help sheets as follows:

The help sheets represent guidance designed to help members apply the Fundamental Principles and Standards in their tax work. While not mandatory a member in a disciplinary case may be asked to explain why they did not follow the help sheet guidance. For example, a case might be brought against a member under the fundamental principle of integrity. As part of the investigation by the disciplinary body the member could be asked to explain why, as recommended in the ‘Dealing with errors’ help sheet, they had not advised their client to make good the tax underpayment which they had identified in the client’s tax affairs.

Further reading

ICAEW has prepared a set of Q&A's to offer further guidance on PCRT and Michael Izza, ICAEW Chief Executive, has shared his views on tax avoidance on his blog.

PCRT webinars

ICAEW Immediate Past President Nick Parker and ICAEW Integrity and Law Manager, Sophie Falcon guide members through the digital PCRT, fundamental principles, the new standards and revised helpsheets. This webinar was recorded on 13 May 2019.

ICAEW Deputy President Nick Parker and ICAEW Investigations Case Manager, Sophie Falcon guide members through the background to the challenge, the changes to the code of practice and what to watch out for in this short webinar. This webinar was recorded on 31 January 2017.