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Gray Area of Taxation - Session 2

We are delighted to invite you to “The Conundrums of Tax Professionals: Technology, Whistleblowing, and Ethical Decision-Making.”


11th of October 2023 from 3:00 pm BST.

• Participation is free on Zoom, subject to registration at the following link:


The event, is co-organized by Professor Diane Ring (Boston College Law School), Dr. Costantino Grasso (Manchester Law School), and Dr. Donato Vozza (Roehampton Law School).


This event, which represents the second part of the session entitled “Compliance, Avoidance, and Evasion in Taxation: The Role of Professionals - The Gray Area,” is designed to engage in a thematic examination of the ambiguous domain known as the "gray area" in taxation, a realm where taxpayers' actions oscillate between legality and illegality. In particular, the three thematic panels will focus on distinct but interconnected topics concerning the "Gray Area" of taxation. The first panel will investigate the lack of transparency in the practices of tax professionals, evaluating the influence of significant leaks like the Panama Papers and the ethical dilemmas in reporting illicit activities. The second panel will explore the evolving role of technology and digital innovation in the gray area. It will assess how future technological advancements, such as artificial intelligence, will influence the roles, responsibilities, and ethical considerations of tax professionals. Finally, the third panel will delve into the notion of moral distress, examining the emotional and psychological conflicts individuals will face when their ethical or moral beliefs are challenged, especially within a professional context.


INTRODUCTION AND INITIAL DISCUSSION (from 3:00 pm – 3:15 pm London Time)

This introductory section serves as the foundation for the main dialogues that will take place during the event. It aims to provide a brief summary of the project while outlining the structure of the occasion. To kick off the broader discussion, this segment features a presentation by our Special Guest, Wouter van Gelderen, an expert in Finance Transformation. This initial engagement will establish the mood for the subsequent panel discussion, which will address topics ranging from transparency and whistleblowing to the impact of technology and ethical concerns in tax professions.

Panel 1) TRANSPARENCY AND WHISTLEBLOWING (from 3:15 pm – 4:15 pm London Time)

This section delves into the lack of transparency surrounding tax professionals’ practices. It highlights the impact of notable leaks like the Panama Papers in uncovering instances of tax abuse. The analysis also considers the ethical dilemma faced by tax professionals in reporting illegal activities and the broader implications of exposing ethically questionable practices. Factors contributing to the determination of public interest in uncovering tax abuse are examined, along with the role of transparent beneficial owner registers in preventing malpractice.

Panel 2) TECHNOLOGY AND INNOVATIONS (from 4:20 pm – 5:20 pm London Time)

This section explores the role of technology and digital innovation within the realm of gray area taxation. It investigates how advancements in technology shape the roles, responsibilities, and practices of tax professionals. It delves into the influence of artificial intelligence on gray area tax operations examining the potential for tax professionals to leverage innovations like AI and machine learning to navigate and exploit gray areas while considering ethical considerations and implications for accountability.

Panel 3) MORAL DISTRESS OF TAX PROFESSIONALS (from 5:25 pm – 6:25 pm London Time)

Moral distress refers to a psychological and emotional state that arises when individuals face situations where their personal values, ethical principles, or moral beliefs are challenged or compromised. It occurs when individuals are aware of the morally right course of action but face constraints that prevent them from acting accordingly because they find themselves in circumstances that require them to make decisions or take actions that conflict with their deeply held moral convictions. Moral distress can emerge in various contexts, including professional environments.


Diane Ring - Professor of Law and the Dr. Thomas F. Carney Distinguished Scholar, Boston College Law School

Case Study

Wouter van Gelderen - Specialist in Finance, Tax, and Technology


Paul Aplin - Tax Technology Specialist

Filippa Anzalone - Associate Dean for Library, Boston College Law School

Meredith Barges - Policy Analyst & Interfaith Chaplain

Dawn Carpenter - Director of the Solidarity Economy Workshop, Georgetown University

Samantha Feinstein - Staff Attorney and Director, Government Accountability Project

Paul Fiorelli - Professor of Business Law and Accountancy, Xavier University

Susan Fortney - Professor of Law, Texas A&M University School of Law

María Amparo Grau Ruiz - Professor of Tax Law, Complutense University of Madrid

Mary Inman - Attorney and Partner, Constantine Cannon LLP, San Francisco Office

Daniele Majorana - International Tax Advisor

Omri Marian - Professor of International Tax Law, University California Irvine

David Morgan - Psychoanalyst, Psychoanalytic Psychotherapist

Eli Moskowitz - Investigative Journalist at OCCRP

James Quarmby - Lawyer and Partner, Stephenson Harwood LLP Siddhesh Rao - PhD Researcher, Institute for Austrian and International Tax Law

Michael Ronickher - Attorney and Partner, Constantine Cannon LLP

Christopher Sykes - Senior Lecturer, Manchester Law School

Marie Terracol - Whistleblower Protection Lead, Transparency International

Carla Vijian - Principal, International Ethics Standards Board for Accountants (IESBA)

For further information, and to access the details about the event and the panelists, please visit the official event website at the following address:

Looking forward to meeting you online!


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