Rob Whiteman, Chief Executive of CIPFA, speaking after addressing the World Congress of Accountants in Rome, called upon the global accountancy profession to help tackle increasing public disquiet about tax avoidance.
Speaking at a Congress season on Promoting fairness and growth through cooperation on taxation Rob Whiteman said that "Accountants need to lead the debate on the ethics of tax, including our own role as professionals".
Speaking in Rome, Rob Whiteman said:
"If the accountancy profession wants certainty about the tax environment that it operates in it must help lead the debate on the sustainability of tax avoidance.
"It can no longer hide behind the letter of the law, but instead must ask itself some tough questions on the sustainability of its facilitation of tax avoidance through aggressive management and planning.
"We are already seeing that the public around the world, the politicians they elect to represent them and global bodies such as the OECD and EU Commission do not have endless patience when it comes to large companies and wealthy individuals paying far less tax than should be expected.
"If the accountancy profession is honest with itself it can no longer be sustainable to be seen as the facilitators and defenders of tax avoidance."