Former CIOT president John Andrews was given the CIOT Council Award at the president's lunch recently, making him only the third person ever to receive the honour.
Andrews, who also founded the Low Incomes Tax Reform Group (LITRG), also celebrated his 50th anniversary of studying for CIOT exams alongside the award.
His acceptance speech caused a bit of a stir with the audience, however, dealing with issues such as minorities and tax avoidance.
"I'd like to make a couple of observations whilst I have a captive audience. The doors have been locked." he started.
Beginning his career as a junior tax officer at the Inland Revenue, Andrews said that HMRC and Treasury staff can lose their "soul" being bogged down with IT issues and pursuing avoidance and fraud.