In August, three tax practitioners had their registrations terminated for five years after breaching the Code of Professional Conduct.
Their offences included failure to:
- act honestly and with integrity, having falsified supplier invoices and personal bank statements
- lodge a personal income tax return and quarterly activity statements by their respective due dates and pay a tax liability to the Australian Taxation Office
- advise the Board they had become an undischarged bankrupt.
In June the Tax Practitioners Board (TPB) also investigated a tax agent who allegedly lodged fraudulent BAS and failed to pay $1.6 million of outstanding tax liabilities.
In this case, the agent breached the code by:
- lodging false BAS for clients to generate a GST refund to which they were not entitled
- altering clients’ financial details to receive their refunds into the agent’s personal account
- failing to pay an outstanding tax liability for themselves and for 24 related entities
- being subject to legal recovery action.
TPB Chair, Mr Ian Klug AM, said these recent cases highlight the scrutiny that tax practitioners must be prepared to undergo in meeting the stringent requirements of registration.
‘Tax practitioners who are involved in fraudulent activities of this kind undermine public trust in honest tax advisers,’ he said. ‘Where we see criminality, we’ll also refer to the authorities for investigation and possible prosecution.’
The Tax Practitioners Board regulates tax practitioners in order to protect consumers and ensure tax practitioners meet appropriate standards of professional and ethical conduct.