What makes tax professionals tick?

Office professionals
By Ruth Lynch, Martin Laheen, Sheila Killian, Philip O’Regan of Kemmy Business School, University of Limerick

10 August 2017

Tax and tax avoidance have hardly been out of the headlines over the last five years. 

We all read with interest as famous names from sports, entertainment and politics as well as business became embroiled in scandals by trying to avail themselves of tax minimisation or tax avoidance schemes.

In addition to taxpayers, the spotlight has also been on tax policy and research.  Analysis on how BEPS might affect national rules and the impact of Brexit on the location of multinational firms has been consumed with interest.

What hasn’t been studied nearly so much are tax professionals. Everyone who’s worked in the sector knows that the tax advisor or in-house tax expert has an influence on tax compliance, but rarely does anyone consider what the influences are on them.

Seeking tax professional’s views

If you’re working as a tax expert, what effect does the ethos of the firm have on your day-to-day job? What about the media? Does the voice of your professional body matter to you? Are you concerned about litigation? Are there gender issues affecting your work?

We want to know how these things and other issues affect the everyday work of tax experts, and have been tasked by the European Commission to find out.

We expect that the work of tax professionals is affected differently by these factors in different countries and contexts, and so we’ve rolled out a custom survey across a wide range of countries and cultures.

The results of this survey will help build on a body of work on the accounting profession but we hope to get responses from lawyers as well as accountants, and from tax practitioners from other disciplines.

If you work in tax and would like to contribute to this project, you can do so by filling in our questionnaire.

The fine detail

The survey should only take ten minutes. 

The secure link does not track any identifying data on respondents. All responses are anonymous, and the data will be aggregated rather than separately identified, and securely stored at the University of Limerick. 

Access to the raw data is limited to the University of Limerick researchers, for the purposes of academic research.


  • Development of the profession
  • Tax
  • CA life

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