Published On: Mon, Oct 16th, 2017

‘Can ICAS look at my tax file without my say so?’

I understand that the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Scotland (ICAS), the external regulators for accountants, can look at my individual tax or accountant’s file without my say so. Can this be right? 

JA, Kent

It seems that it is and thank you for highlighting a practice that may make some people uneasy. 

ICAS, a professional body for chartered accountants, which says it regulates about 950 firms, explained that the general position in accountancy engagements is that the files belong to the accountancy firm and not the client. 

This is different from legal services, where the files generally belong to the client.  ICAS said that it is an essential requirement of professional regulation that ICAS is able to review work of its members and firms. 

This is to ensure that high professional standards are being maintained at all times. 

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