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Code of Conduct and Disciplinary Procedures

  Overview
One of the important factors in preserving public confidence in a profession is the establishment and maintenance of appropriate professional standards of conduct for its members and the exercise of professional discipline over those who do not comply with those standards.

The Institute deals with the complaints about the professional conduct of members and students.  The standards with which a member or a student is expected to comply are contained in the Institute’s publication entitled “Code of Professional Conduct and recommended best practice guidelines” (Code of Conduct).  

Any person may bring to the attention of the Secretary to the Investigations Committee (Secretary) any facts or matters which may indicate that a member of the Institute has breached the Code of Conduct and lodge a formal complaint against that member.  

The procedures for investigating a complaint and referring a matter for further investigation to the Investigation Committee are contained in Bye Law No. 1.   

The Code of Conduct includes the code itself and recommended best practice guidelines.  The recommended best practice guidelines are intended to assist with the practical application of the code.  The recommended best practice guidelines are not to be taken as a replacement of the code and the code will always take precedence where there is any ambiguity.

Making a complaint against a member is not a substitute for seeking damages or other redress through the courts. The Institute’s jurisdiction over members is disciplinary in nature and the Institute is not in a position to provide legal advice. If a complainant feels that they have a claim in law against a member of the Institute then they may wish to seek independent legal advice. The Institute cannot intervene in fee disputes, as it considers that the courts are the proper forum for such matters. Nor can the Institute advise on what is a reasonable sum for work done. The process can only consider cases where there is alleged professional misconduct and where a complainant is alleging a criminal offence, the complainant should report this matter to the appropriate authority.

The Complaints Procedure
Because the Institute expects their members and students to maintain standards of work and conduct which are compatible with the importance of the tax profession and which meet the expectations of the public, the system allows a person to make a complaint if they believe these standards have been breached.

Any member of the public can at any time approach the Secretary for information about the standards of conduct that apply.

A complaint about the professional conduct of a member or student can be made to the Secretary of the Investigation Committee (by contacting investigation-secretary@taxinstitute.ie). 

The latest versions of the Code of Professional Conduct and Recommended Best Practice Guidelines and Bye Law No. 1 are available below:
Code of Professional Conduct
Bye-law No. 1