In mid-February 2023 the Gibraltar Association of Tax Advisers (GATA) was formally launched, after holding its inaugural meeting attended by the founding Chartered Tax Advisers based on the Rock.
The main objective of GATA is to promote the profession of the Tax Adviser, by publicly raising tax awareness, promoting tax education, and facilitating those who work in the sector.
The profession of the Tax Adviser
Tax Advisers are one of the most significant intermediaries in the tax system. They undertake an important role in the administration of the tax system and many taxpayers choose to use their services to assist them with their tax compliance and planning.
Whilst there is significant overlap between the profession of Tax Adviser and the professions of Accountant or Lawyer, it is a distinct profession. The members agree that it will be beneficial to the profession, and to Gibraltar as a whole, for there to be a professional organisation that represents and promotes this distinct profession.
This is particularly important at a time when the profession grows internationally, and the global taxation system becomes ever more complex. Having worked in expatriate and private client taxation for over 22 years, previously in the UK, at Deloitte and KPMG, before relocating to Gibraltar in 2005, I’ve seen first-hand how the tax system in Gibraltar and in the UK has transformed in that time, responding to both local and global events, trends and changes.
GATA will provide specialist tax support and a local voice for cross-border tax matters impacting the Rock. In achieving this, GATA aims to work with connected well-established organisations locally, along with building relations between Gibraltar’s tax profession and its international counterparts, most notably the UK’s Chartered Institute of Taxation (CIOT).
The CIOT (aka the GATA’s mothership) is the leading body in the UK for tax professionals. Its primary purpose is to promote tax education, with one of its key aims being to achieve a more efficient and less complex tax system for all.
GATA is looking to emulate this in Gibraltar. Its views and recommendations on tax matters will be made on this basis. Progress is already being made. GATA has met with Gibraltar’s Commissioner of Income Tax, and the CIOT, both resulting in encouraging and positive outcomes.
Collaboration and progress
This approach reflects how the CIOT collaborate with HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) in the UK. They share their expertise and work in partnership to improve guidance, focusing on areas where they would like further clarity, to provide certainty in the tax system.
There are areas where developing and modernising our tax regime, in response to changes locally and globally, can benefit Gibraltar. For example, in the post Covid-19 world, there are increased mobile working expectations and arrangements, and whilst these are challenging the traditional structure of many tax regimes, we have an opportunity to react to this change more nimbly than other jurisdictions, which could provide an opportunity. In this way, GATA can collaborate to help work towards creating a modern tax system that is fit for the challenges and opportunities of the 21st century economy.
GATA is looking to promote education in a variety of ways, both on its own and in conjunction with the CIOT. As a starter, it would like to offer quarterly open tax training seminars. These seminars will be designed to cover a broad range of tax topics, from aspects which may be of interest to many taxpayers locally, to others which will focus on technical aspects of the tax regime which may be of more interest to relevant professionals.
Therefore, GATA are looking to provide both a tax education and tax discussion platform.
Membership of GATA is open to anyone who:
- holds either the UK’s Chartered Tax Adviser (CTA) qualification or the Advanced Diploma in International Taxation (ADIT), both issued by the CIOT,
- is a Fellow of the CIOT,
- holds any equivalent qualification issued by a national institute of taxation representing the profession of Tax Adviser in that jurisdiction, or
- is studying for any of the above qualifications.
Information regarding the CIOT qualifications can be accessed here: Getting Started on the CTA Qualification (tax.org.uk) and ADIT international tax | Chartered Institute of Taxation
The founding members, whose specialisms cover the many tentacles of tax, and represent a variety of local firms, include: Darren Anton, John Azzopardi, James Bossino, Lynette Chaudhary, Marco De La Chica, Gavin Gafan, Sara Haddow, Stephen Hodgson, Grahame Jackson, Joseph Lee and Paul McGonigal.
GATA officers have been elected: the Chair, Grahame Jackson; Education Officer, John Azzopardi; GSA Liaison Officer, Darren Anton; Tax Technical Officer, Paul McGonigal; and Secretary, James Bossino and Marco De La Chica.
In the first year of operation at least, there is no fee to join GATA, an open invitation stands to all those who meet the entry requirements and who are interested in joining.
For any GATA enquiries please email email@example.com or contact Sovereign GATA member, Lynette Chaudhary, Tax Director, Sovereign Tax Services below.