For the approval of the Code of Ethics and Professional Conduct
in the tax consulting field
Based on the provisions in art. 11 of the Government Ordinance 71/2001 on the rules of functioning of the tax consulting activity, as approved with amendments in Law 198/2002, as amended through the Government Emergency Ordinance 53/2007, the High Council of the Tax Consultant Chamber, in the meeting of July 19, 2007, decide:
As of the date of the current decision, the „Code of Ethics and Professional Conduct in the tax consulting field” is approved.
The directorate for professional conduct and discipline and the General Secretarial Office of the Tax Consultant Chamber shall carry out the provisions of the current Decision.
The current Decision shall be published in the Official Gazette of Romania, Part I, in accordance with the provisions in art. 26ˆ1 of the Government Emergency Ordinance 53/2007, for amending the Government Ordinance 71/2001 on the rules of functioning for the tax consulting activity, as approved with changes in the Law 198/2002.
President of the Tax Consultant Chamber,
Daniel CHIŢOIU, Doctor of Economics
Bucharest, July 30, 2007
CHAPTER 1. GENERAL PROVISIONS
Art. 1. The code on the ethical and professional conduct in the tax consulting field is a collection of moral principles and rules of behavior and professional attitude governing the activity carried out by the fiscal consultants.
Art. 2. (1) The provisions of the Code of Ethics and Professional Conduct in the tax consulting field shall apply to all fiscal consultants, in their capacity as members in the Tax Consultant Chamber, as well as to all fiscal consulting firms which are authorized under the law.
(2) The Code of Ethics and Professional Conduct in the tax consulting activity regulates the necessary framework allowing the tax consultants to carry out the tax consulting activity with professionalism and correctness, without bringing any prejudice to their clients.
(3) The ethical and professional conduct of the tax consultants is essential to the qualitative, independent and unbiased tax consulting activity.
(4) The provisions laid down in the current code of conduct shall not apply to any actions which relates directly to the private life or to extra-professional activities of the fiscal consultants, and do not entail the integrity of the tax consulting profession or the professional competency of the fiscal consultants.
CHAPTER 2. BASIC PRINCIPLES
The reputation of the tax consulting activity
Art. 3. (1) The fiscal consultants, through their behavior and position as to the fiscal laws, must contribute to and ensure the compliance with the legal provisions in the fiscal field, and the reinforcement of the public trust in the tax consulting institution.
(2) The tax consultant has the obligation to actively and permanently contribute to protecting the reputation of the tax consultant profession.
Compliance with the legal provisions
Art. 4. The tax consultant shall observe the legal provisions applicable to the activity developed, as well as the provisions of the current code of ethical and professional conduct.
Art. 5. (1) The tax consultant must be a correct, honest and non-corruptible person in the performance of the tax consulting activity, a person who does not involve in actions that are not based on a legitimate interest.
(2) The tax consultant must duly observe and apply the legal provisions in the fiscal field and act accordingly to the professional requirements, thus contributing to the defense of the professional reputation and the favorable public perception of the tax consulting activity performance.
(3) The tax consultant must be direct and honest in delivering the professional services.
(4) The integrity implies not only the honesty, but also the rightful performance of the activities and the sincerity. The integrity principle requires all the tax consultants to be correct, honest from a professional point of view, and to not involve in any conflicts of interests.
(5) In the process of selecting the situations and practices to be specifically approached with regard to the ethical requirements relating to the objectivity, a proper attention must be paid to the following factors:
a)The tax consultant may be exposed to situations in which they may be subject to pressure. Such pressure may affect the objectivity of the fiscal consultants;
b)The tax consultants shall be forbidden from either accepting or offering any presents of any nature which, in a reasonable manner, may considerably and negatively influence on their judgment or the judgment of the people they get in contact with;
c)The tax consultants must avoid any situations which may harm their professional reputation.
(6) The tax consultant who provides tax consulting services is duly allowed to defend his/her clients’ interests or the interest of their employer, as long as the services in question, provided with professional competency, do not harm in any way the objectivity and integrity of the fiscal consultant, and his/her professional opinion as a tax consultant must be in accordance with the law. Any unclear situations can be settled in favor of the client or the employer, if there is reasonable evidence.
(7) The tax consultants who draw up or assist the drawing up of fiscal returns/statements must inform their clients or employers on the fact that the responsibility for the contents of such returns/statements lies mainly with the client/employer. The tax consultant must take all the necessary measures to ensure /statements are correctly drawn up based on the data received.
Art. 6. (1) Independence implies:
a) Express an opinion which is not affected by any influences that may compromise the professional judgment, allowing individuals to act with integrity and apply objectivity and professional doubt;
b) Avoid any events and circumstances which are significant enough to allow a third party – if reasonable and informed, aware of all the relevant information, including the security measures applied - to conclude that the integrity, objectivity or professional doubt of a tax consultant have been compromised.
(2) The tax consultant must avoid any diminution of his/her independence and must be careful not to compromise the profession’s standards with the purpose to ensure defending the personal interests of the clients, Courts or any other authorities, institutions or third parties.
(3) In order to settle the situations which may negatively affect the independence and impartiality of the profession (conflict of interests), the tax consultants shall apply the professional rules of practice or they shall address the issue to the Tax Consultant Chamber.
Art. 7. The tax consultants must be fair and must not allow their objectivity to be affected by any prejudice, conflict or interests or external influences.
The tax consultants must base their activity on objectivity, not affected by any other interests, regardless of the nature thereof.
Art. 8. (1) The tax consultants have the obligation to keep the secrecy regarding the information, facts and documents-evidence on which they become aware and which they hold as a result of exercising their tax consulting attributions; the tax consultants are totally forbidden to use such information, fact and documents in their own interest or in the interest of a third party.
(2) The tax consultants must respect the confidentiality nature of the information acquired during their professional activity and must not use or divulge such information without specific and appropriate authorization, except for the situations where there is a right or legal or professional obligation requiring that such information be divulged.
(3) The divulgation of such information is allowed only in specific and restricted cases stipulated by law.
(4) There is no statute of limitations on the confidentiality.
Art. 9. (1) The professional competence of the tax consultant consists of a collection of skills and abilities to analyze and solve, in accordance with the applicable legal provisions, any fiscal matters entrusted to them, with an assessment of the juridical and fiscal risks that may be generated by any solution adopted.
(2) The professional competence is the capacity of any tax consultant to provide professional services of assistance on fiscal matters and budget receivables and services of representation before the fiscal and legal authorities, using their deep understanding, both in theory and in practice, of the fiscal legislation.
The tax consultants must provide the professional services with the appropriate carefulness, competence and consciousness, and have the permanent responsibility to keep the high level of their professional knowledge and abilities, in order to ensure that any client or employer enjoys the advantages of a competent professional service, based on the most recent practices and legislative aspects.
(3) The tax consultants must involve, in good faith, only in actions for which they have the necessary knowledge, skills and expertise required by the specific activity of their clients, and in accordance with the provisions laid down in the contracts concluded with such clients.
(4) In the cases where there is a risk of giving an incorrect solution when the risk assumed by the consultant may potentially harm his/her reputation, the profession or the Tax Consultant Chamber in relationship with third parties, the tax consultant may decline competency, inform the client on his/her decision on the issue and, in agreement with the client, cooperate with other tax consultants or experts in the field to work out a second solution.
(5) The cooperation with other consultants in view of finding a second solution is compulsory when the client considers this necessary, even-though the tax consultant may consider such second opinion as irrelevant.
(6) The tax consultants may participate, in their capacity as tax consultants, to research activities, articles, publications, scientific papers and radio or TV broadcasts.
Art. 10. (1) With the purpose of ensuring the impartiality of the tax consulting activity, the tax consultants must be unbiased and independent of any political, racial, nationality influence, etc.
The professional stance
Art. 11. The tax consultants must be aware that the services they provide entail the responsibility towards the clients and the enforcement of the legal provisions; therefore, the tax consultants shall not take, in providing their professional services, any risks which may damage their own reputation, the profession, the Tax Consultant Chamber, or may trigger their material or criminal liability.
Art. 12. (1) In their relationship with the clients, the colleagues, the fiscal bodies, the police force and the justice, the tax consultants must be fair and in good faith.
(2) The tax consultants have the responsibility to promptly respond to any notification sent by either their colleagues or the Tax Consultant Chamber.
(3) The tax consultants must fulfill promptly and in due time the professional commitments made to their clients and colleagues.
(4) The tax consultant may refuse to further assist his/her client, during the contractual period, if one of the following situations occur:
a)The client insists on approaches in breach of the tax legislation;
b)The client uses the activity of the tax consultant to hide an illegal conduct;
c) The client fails to meet the contractual obligations.
(5) The tax consultant has the obligation to act permanently and actively in the sense of ensuring a climate of trust and cooperation among the members of the Chamber.
(6) In Court, the tax consultants shall not approach their colleagues on an aggressive and insulting tone, and shall not use denigrating or insulting language against their colleagues, avoiding aggressive techniques, personal observations and slander.
(7) Any professional conflicts between the members of the Tax Consultant Chamber shall be reconciled amiably; if amiable reconciliation is not possible the issue shall be put up for debates by the Discipline Directorate within the Chamber.
(8) The tax consultants shall not use any information they hold and any documents they draw up with the purpose of expressing their own political views, defending their own political interests or the political interests of other persons.
(9) The tax consultant must have a dignified and decent attitude and must wear appropriate outfits when standing before a Court or a public institution.
(10) The fiscal consultants have the right to advertise, only in observance of the following:
a) the expertise and professional skills must be presented in a correct manner;
b) any reference to the quality and the prices of the tax consulting services provided by other tax consultants must be avoided;
c) any allegations that might negatively affect the professional interests of other tax consultant must be avoided.
(11) The tax consultants may use, in their professional activity, references to the Tax Consultant Chamber membership, logo and emblem.
The professional fees must correctly reflect the value of the professional services provided to the clients.
CHAPTER 3. FINAL PROVISIONS
Art. 13. Any violation of the current code of ethics shall attract the liability of the tax consultants, according to the applicable legal provisions.
Art. 14. The current Code of Ethics and Professional Conduct in the tax consulting fields shall be published in the Official Gazette of Romania.