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Accountants cannot give legal advice: What that means for them, their clients and the lawyers

Published on 01 May 11 by "TAXATION IN AUSTRALIA" JOURNAL ARTICLE

A recent AAT decision highlighted a problem that has existed for many years. Accountants have long-believed that they are entitled to give advice, including legal advice, about the operation of tax laws.

This article considers the extent to which accountants’ “bread and butter” work involves the provision of legal advice.

The article discusses why accountants incorrectly believe that they can give legal advice, the risks for accountants who give legal advice, and how tax practitioners can ameliorate those risks. The article concludes with some suggested curative approaches.

Author profile:

Christopher Wallis
Chris has a long history of addressing difficult issues particularly in the context of tax education and tax training. He is located in Melbourne and has been at the Bar for 22 years, as well as sharing his specialist knowledge with practitioners while running training sessions. Current at 18 February 2013 Click here to expand/collapse more articles by Chris WALLIS.
 
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