Interesting Article on "Tax Accountant Priviilege?"

Author: Alexander Stack Professional Corporation |

An interesting article "Tax Accountant Privilege" in this week's Lawyer's Weekly. The lead:

"Should privilege extend to communications between tax accountants and their clients? As there is “no tax without law,” advising on the law is what tax accountants do. The English Court of Appeal is now examining whether privilege should be based on the nature of the advice or the qualifications of the person providing it."

With all due respect to the tax profession, this is interesting mainly because of the similarities to the issue of privilege for communications between patent agents and their clients. ;) To paraphrase, as there is "no patents without law", advising on the law is what patent agents do.

One of the arguments raised against privilege for communications between clients and patent agents is that it would open the floodgates to let communications between clients and the great unwashed (i.e. tax accountants) also attract privilege. I don't know how credible that actually is (what do you need to do to become a tax accountant anyway?).

I have an article coming out in Managing Intellectual Property in October on privilege for communications with foreign lawyers and patent agents in Canada, for those who are interested.

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