Definition of a Tax Agent - Section 153(3) of the Income Tax Act 1967 (ITA):
- any professional accountant approved by the Minister; or
- any other person approved by the Minister on the recommendation of the Director General of Inland Revenue Board (IRB).
Advising on records to be maintained,
- Assisting in completing tax returns;
- Impress upon the clients on their obligation to pay their dues as required under the law;
- Attendance at Field Audit at clients' premises;
- Attendance at investigation, interviews, negotiations and proceedings; and
- Filing of appeals and attendance at negotiation hearings and further appeals.
Conversant with the everyday tax compliance requirements e.g.:
- submission of estimates
- payment of taxes
- submission of returns
- appeal procedures
- expediting audit and investigation processes
In discharging his duties, a tax agent shall always adhere to the following:
||An agent shall be well mannered, honest, sincere and truthful in his work and always give full cooperation when dealing with the IRB. In handling the case of his client, he shall furnish only information which, to the best of his knowledge and belief, is correct.
||He shall refrain from using information acquired in the course of his work for his own advantage or that of his family. Such information is classified material and shall be dealt with as confidential. It shall not be disclosed to any other party without specific authority.
“Classified material” means returns/documents/ information that is acquired by a classified person as defined in Section 138(5), Income Tax Act 1967. A “Classified person” means any person or his employee who has access to classified material when representing a client in taxation matters.
||He shall accurately inform/advise his client on the progress of his case.
||He shall not misuse any monies entrusted by his client for purposes of payment of tax. Proof of payment of tax shall be given to his client for purposes of record.
||He shall not enter into any arrangement with an unqualified person to endorse the work of that unqualified person.
||He shall always strive for professional competency and exhibit a high degree of skill in discharging his duties. A tax agent must therefore be conversant with the tax laws/practices and constantly ensure that his technical knowledge is up-to-date. In addition he is also expected to keep abreast with the requirements of the IRB, which may be announced from time to time.
||Staff members of a tax agent must also be well trained in relevant aspects of tax laws and regulations so as to ensure that work performed by them also meet the required standard.
||He shall to the best of his ability, ensure that all returns and tax computations submitted are properly completed with the required supporting statements and schedules, and such submissions are in compliance with the guidelines issued by the IRB.
||He shall only undertake cases that are within his experience and capability. This is to avoid any sub-standard work being performed and undue delay in the finalisation of the cases.
||When making appeals against any assessment, proper care shall be taken to ensure that such appeals are based on valid grounds.
||He is expected to give prompt and complete replies to enquiries from the IRB.
|| Professional Advice
||In giving professional advice to his clients, the tax agent shall always have regard to the prevailing tax laws.
||He shall impress upon his clients the various obligations and duties as taxpayers under the tax laws and educate the clients on the importance of maintaining proper records of all transactions especially in business cases.
||He shall also advise his clients of the necessity to make sufficient provisions for payment of tax as well as the importance of keeping to the instalment plans for payment of tax so as to avoid late payment penalties.
*Compliance with this code of ethics will be used as one of the criteria for approving and renewing the licence of the tax agent.