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Institute for Tax Advisors and Accountants

Member | Established: 1999 | Member since 1977

ITAA is a mandatory membership organization for accountants and tax consultants established in accordance with the Law Concerning the Accountancy and Tax Professions (Law of 2019). ITAA is responsible for: (i) implementing initial and continuing professional development requirements specified in the law for its members; (ii) providing training and licensing examinations; (iii) maintaining a registry for accountants and tax consultants; (iv) conducting an investigation and disciplinary system for its members to ensure compliance with educational and ethical requirements; and (v) keeping members informed of any revised or new accounting and ethical standards. ITAA is a member of IFAC, Accountancy Europe, Fédération Internationale des Experts-Comptables Francophones, and the Confédération Fiscale Européenne, EFAA and ETAF. ITAA became member in 1977 under the name CNECB and has changed names and evolved since to become IEC in 1985 and merged with IPCF in 2019 into ITAA, its current name.

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Statements of Membership Obligation (SMO)

The Statements of Membership Obligations form the basis of the IFAC Member Compliance Program. They serve as a framework for credible and high-quality professional accountancy organizations focused on serving the public interest by adopting, or otherwise incorporating, and supporting implementation of international standards and maintaining adequate enforcement mechanisms to ensure the professional behavior of their individual members.

Last updated: 10/2023
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SMO Action Plan

Status of Fulfillment by SMO

  • SMO 1: Quality Assurance

    ITAA has no legal authority to establish a mandatory quality assurance review system for statutory audits since the Act Regarding the Organization and Supervision of Statutory Auditors of 2016 delegates that authority to the Belgian Audit Oversight Board.

    However, the ITAA has worked to establish a practice review system to further ensure the quality of the services delivered by its members (accountants, tax consultants, and bookkeepers) who might provide audits for single financial statements services related to mergers, acquisitions, or liquidations. The Quality Review Commission (QRC) has been operational since June 2012 and ITAA reports it aligns with relevant SMO 1 requirements. In 2024, ITAA expects to expand the QA reviews to other, non-audit services provided by ITAA members on a risk-based approach.

    The QRC has released tools and manuals for reviewers to support the review process and organized training courses. ITAA also conducts training sessions and workshops on quality assurance for its members as part of the continuing professional development program.

    ITAA also collaborates with Kluwers Publishing to provide members with publications on audit law which includes QA requirements.

    Current Status: Sustain

  • SMO 2: International Education Standards

    The Law Concerning the Accountancy and Tax Professions 2019 grants the Belgian Institute of Tax Advisors and Accountants (ITAA) with responsibility for implementing initial and continuing professional development requirements specified in the law for its members and providing training and licensing examinations.

    ITAA administers the final examination for accountants and tax consultants and has indicated that both IPD and CPD requirements are in line with 2019 IES requirements. ITAA also monitors practical experience of candidates.

    ITAA will review any new and revised standards and incorporate necessary changes to ensure its CPD system and examination continue to be aligned with the requirements of the IES. It also established an ongoing process to promote and disseminate information about IES to its members.

    ITAA’s CPD Commission meets periodically to update its program and ensure that its members are fulfilling the requirements. In line with the legislation, members must complete 120 hours of CPD over a three-year period. The Commission will consult with the Board concerning non-compliant members and refers cases to the Disciplinary Commission as needed.

    ITAA collaborates with Kluwers Publishing  to provide members with publications on accountancy law which includes educational and examination requirements.

    Current Status: Sustain

  • SMO 3: International Standards on Auditing

    According to the Audit Act of 2016, audits must be conducted in accordance with the standards set by the Belgian Institute of Registered Auditors (IBR-IRE) and approved by the High Council for the Economic Professions and Minister of Economy. Adoption information regarding audit standards can be found here.

    ITAA has no responsibility for adopting auditing standards. It offers implementation support to its members that address the standards issued by the IAASB. For example, it will offer a virtual training program training to members on relevant standards for quality assurance reviews starting September 2023, which includes a procedure manual and guidance. It also updates members of the profession on new and revised standards via its website and press releases.

    Current Status: Sustain

  • SMO 4: Code of Ethics for Professional Accountants

    The Law Concerning the Accountancy and Tax Professions 2019 establishes ethical requirements to be implemented by the Institute of Accountants and Tax Consultants (ITAA) for its members—accountants, tax consultants, and bookkeepers.

    ITAA reports that its members are required to adhere to a Code that incorporates the requirements of the 2009 IESBA Code of Ethics. The full ethical requirements are issued by a royal decree of the Minister of the Economy. ITAA reports that revisions to the Code based on the 2018 International Code of Ethics for Professional Accountants are in the process of being approved by the relevant Ministers.

    ITAA supports its members with implementation by providing training courses as part of the continuing professional development program. It also disseminates guidance materials such as the Exploring the IESBA Code.

    It is in the public interest that all professional accountants adhere to the latest ethical requirements issued by the IESBA. There have been significant revisions to the ethical requirements issued by IESBA since 2009 and even since 2018. The 2022 Handbook is currently effective (and the 2023 IESBA Handbook is available for review and early adoption). As part of fulfilling the obligations under SMO 4, ITAA should indicate how it is advocating adoption and drafting any proposals for review by the government to adopt more recent requirements.

    Current Status: Execute

  • SMO 5: International Public Sector Accounting Standards

    The Belgian accounting system is on an accrual basis using national standards at the central government level and for the Walloon and Brussels local government, for each component of the financial statements (except for cash flow statement). This is the same at the Flemish local government level, except for changes in net asset that are recorded on a modified accrual basis. The Belgian Institute of Registered Auditors (IBR-IRE) reports that for the Belgian local authorities, regulation was passed in June 2010 which adopts an accounting system that considers IPSAS.

    Since it is not within the scope of responsibilities of the ITAA to adopt public sector standards, the institute focuses its efforts on promoting IPSAS to government officials. ITAA reports that it meets with the government on a regular basis to promote awareness of the standards.

    In 2014, it jointly established the Public Accounting Commission with the Belgian Institute of Registered Auditors to: (i) follow up with government authorities on IPSAS adoption; (ii) contribute to the developments of European Public Sector Accounting Standards (EPSAS) to encourage alignment with IPSAS; and (iii) provide training activities to assist members with the implementation of standards for a smooth transition process from “cash accounting” to “accrual basis accounting.” ITAA maintains that one of its priorities is to promote the work of accountants in the public sector.

    As the Belgian government continues to consider adoption of IPSAS and EPSAS, the ITAA is encouraged to further consider how it may be able to proactively provide technical, advocacy, and other forms of support to the government to enhance public financial management in the jurisdiction.

    Current Status: Sustain

  • SMO 6: Investigation and Discipline

    The Law of 2019 Concerning the Accountancy and Tax Professions requires the establishment of a mechanism for investigating and disciplining accounting professionals. In accordance with the detailed requirements of the legislation, the Institute of Accountants and Tax Consultants (ITAA) established mechanisms for investigating and disciplining its members.

    Accountants, tax consultants and bookkeepers are subject to a Disciplinary Commission comprising a judge in the court of commerce, and two ITAA members appointed by the Board that are responsible for maintaining professional discipline. The chairman is appointed by the King on the recommendation of the Minister of Justice. Sanctions can be imposed and determined by disciplinary bodies chaired by a magistrate. Investigations are carried out by the legal department of ITAA, and the Board decides if cases are forwarded to the Disciplinary Commission. Appeals may be granted as stipulated in the Law of 2019.

    Professional accountancy organizations may request investigations by the Federal Police for any perceived infringements to the law. All persons who practice as accountants (preparers), tax consultants, bookkeepers, and tax accountants without being registered with the ITAA are subject to sanctions as per article 58 of the Law of 2019.

    ITAA’s completed a self-assessment of its I&D processes and reports that it is mostly aligned with SMO 6 requirements, apart from (i) a process for the independent review of complaints on which there was no follow-up being established and (ii) the results of the investigative and disciplinary proceedings being publicly available. Not all results of proceedings are made available to the public (for privacy reasons), however expulsion cases that result in removal from the members’ list are published on the ITAA website.

    ITAA indicates that it informs its members about the I&D process on an ongoing basis, as evidenced on its website and annual reports.

    As is legally feasible, ITAA may consider opportunities to advocate for legislative amendments that would enable its enforcement procedures to more completely meet the SMO 6 global best practices pertaining to public interest considerations.

    Current Status: Sustain

  • SMO 7: International Financial Reporting Standards

    As a member of the European Union (EU), Belgium is subject to the accounting and financial reporting requirements established in EU Regulations and Directives as transposed into national laws and regulations. EU-endorsed IFRS have been adopted as mandatory for companies trading in a regulated market along with credit institutions, insurance companies, and investment firms, while other entities are permitted to use the EU-endorsed IFRS. The Belgian Accounting Standards Board (BASB) is responsible for enacting financial reporting standards in Belgium for all other entities and has issued the Belgian Generally Accepted Accounting Principles.

    Since ITAA has no responsibility for IFRS adoption, it focuses on supporting its members with implementation and application by offering workshops and continuing professional development courses on the standards and developments in the area. It also supports members with information, tools, and professional literature via its website.

    Additionally, the institute reports that it has a representative on the BASB and in this manner, contributes to the development of standards by providing technical assistance and support.

    Current Status: Sustain


IFAC bears no responsibility for the information provided in the SMO Action Plans prepared by IFAC member organizations. Please see our full Disclaimer for additional information.


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