The Professional Conduct in Relation to Taxation (PCRT), adopted by the main professional accounting and tax bodies, sets out the professional standards that are expected of a member when undertaking tax work.

This is a freeview 'At a glance' guide to the requirements of the Professional Conduct in Relation to Taxation (PCRT) adopted by the main professional accounting and tax bodies.

At a glance

The Professional Conduct in Relation to Taxation (PCRT) guidance is intended to advise and assist members of the relevant bodies in their professional conduct, particularly when it comes to relationships with clients and HMRC.

The PCRT has been updated and five new standards apply from 1 March 2017. It has been further updated with a new digital structure from 1 March 2019. As a result, some of the 2017 helpsheets have been amended or removed so that they provide guidance to support the fundamental principles and standards that underpin professional conduct, instead of providing commentary about developments in the tax system that are better addressed through other non-PCRT guidance.

The PCRT applies to the following tax and accounting bodies:

  • Institute of Chartered Accountants England & Wales (ICAEW)
  • Association of Accounting Technicians (AAT)
  • Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA)
  • Association of Taxation Technicians (ATT)
  • Chartered Institute of Taxation (CIOT)
  • Institute of Chartered Accountants of Scotland (ICAS)
  • Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners (STEP).

The PCRT sets out:

  • The fundamental principles of behaviour that members are expected to follow.
  • How these may apply to the day-to-day work of a tax adviser, as well as some more speciality situations

The new 2019 PCRT can be found here.

The latest PCRT:

  • Incorporates the same fundamental principles and guidance as the previous versions.
  • Also contains new ‘Standards for Tax Planning’ which cover any structure or arrangement that is artificial, contrived, or seeks to exploit loopholes in tax law.

HMRC has set out its 'Standards for Agents' which is aimed at tax agents who are not members of any professional bodies.

What's new?

June 2020: New guidance on PCRT in relation to Research & Development, see R&D tab

June 2024: PCRT bodies make joint statement on tax regulation

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