Wednesday, April 24, 2013

The privilege of being an accountant rather than a lawyer

At a panel debate hosted by Pinsent Masons and The Times on Monday evening I heard two mildy amusing references to accountants. The subject under discussion was Legal Advice Privilege and the recent Prudential case. This confirmed that tax accountants are not tax lawyers.

Tom Adam QC mischievously suggested that:
"as we all know, deep down tax accountants want to be lawyers. After all, we have 'Legally Blonde', 'Ali McBeal' and 'Suits'. And what do accountants have......? 
Big calculators and lots of pens in their top pocket!"
Also on the panel, Mike Truman, editor of Taxation magazine, later got in a retort of his own:
"The big difference between lawyers and accountants, when it comes to the provision of tax advice, is that accountants are expected to get the numbers right as well as the words!" 

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