Tax Advisors: Blurred Identity, Great Expectations

Tereza Rogić Lugarić

Abstract


A high degree of engagement between tax authorities and taxpayers is nothing new in tax law but it is an approach that gained in importance towards the end of the 20th century. The last ten years were characterised by co-operative compliance theory. The mentioned theory, among other things, has provoked a process of reviewing the tax advisors' role. Therefore, the relationship between tax authorities and tax advisors has an increasing importance. The article consists of two main thematic parts. The first part introduces a "general state" and tendencies in the tax advising profession. In the second part, the results of empirical research conducted among tax advisors in Croatia are presented. The aim of the research is to examine how tax advisors in Croatia perceive their role and their relationship with tax authorities as well as to gain useful insight which would contribute to a better understanding of relationships between the participants in the tax-law relationship. The method used for data collection was interview. Results of the research point to several conclusions. Firstly, most tax advisors believe that the tax authorities are distrustful toward tax advisors and are of the opinion that tax advisors mostly help taxpayers to evade their tax obligations. With regard to the attitude of the tax authorities towards taxpayers, they point out that it is an authoritarian relationship dominated by the "cop and robber" approach. Also, most advisors are of the opinion that their profession lacks a distinctive identity. To conclude, the article provides some recommendations and possible legal and tax policy changes.

Keywords


tax advisors; tax compliance; co-operative compliance; tax authorities

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Print ISSN 1330-0288 | Online ISSN 1848-6096