Ethics - Rock and a hard place

Uncleboobot Registered Posts: 44 Regular contributor ⭐ 😼 ⭐
This is completely hypothetical but the thought crossed my mind a few days ago and since then I haven't really been able to come up with a satisfactory answer.

I'd be interested to know what you would do. The scenario is that
  1. You have advised your client that there has been an error or omission in an earlier return
  2. Your client is refusing to correct or disclose the error
  3. (Amongst other things) You have advised the relevant autorities including NCA
  4. The client asks you outright whether you have reported them or not.

How would you deal with the this situation?


  • Uncleboobot
    Uncleboobot Registered Posts: 44 Regular contributor ⭐ 😼 ⭐
    55 views but no replies. I guess I'm not the only one to struggle with this question....

    It seems that in this situation you would be damned if you do and damned if you don't, as either way, you are going to have to act in an unethical way, by either lying to the client if you told them you haven't reported it when you have - affects your integrity, or by tipping them off or prejudicing an investigation if you come clean.

    Kind of like asking which eye you'd like to be poked in.
  • Neillaw
    Neillaw MAAT, AAT Licensed Accountant Posts: 302 Dedicated contributor 🌟 🐵 🌟
    My question would be why haven't you dis-engaged from the client.
    If the client isn't going to correct the error then he's going to be avoiding tax and alarm bells should be ringing to release the client especially if you've already reported him for it.
    If you've cut ties with the client then you don't have to poke yourself in the eye and as Mick politely puts it tell him to Do One.
  • Uncleboobot
    Uncleboobot Registered Posts: 44 Regular contributor ⭐ 😼 ⭐
    Lol - point taken Mick, I didn’t mean to leave that number 5 loafing, although my question was finished ( it even had a ? at the end of it!).

    And yes, that reply works, although anything other than a ‘No’ would probably be taken as a ‘yes’
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