Number of tax agent terminations increase by 208%

23 October 2019

There has been a dramatic spike in compliance action from tax agents in the past 12 months, according to the Tax Practitioners Board (TPB).

The TPB’s 2018/19 annual report said the changes to the composition of the board and the appointment of a new chief executive had significantly reset the TPB’s strategic objectives.

The TPB’s chair, Ian Klug, said the compliance program now had a dedicated focus on identifying and investigation those tax practitioners and unregistered agents who posed the highest risks to the integrity of the procession and the tax system.

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Klug said this focus delivered the following results (when compared to the previous year):

  • the number of total sanctions rose from 287 to 749 (161% increase);
  • the number of terminations increased from 24 to 74 (208% increase); and
  • the number of written cautions increased from 182 to 540 (197% increase).

The TPB also collaborated with other government agencies and saw an increase of 63% in the number of referrals from the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) to the TPB.

“Most registered tax practitioners take their role seriously in addressing their ongoing professional development, however, over 80 practitioners failed these requirements and were subject to cautions and sanctions,” Klug said.

“The year ahead includes great opportunities for the TPB to improve its services to the public and practitioners by implementing Government reforms arising from the James Review and in our new joint compliance strategy with the ATO.

“This collaboration has a focus on 2,000 higher risk tax advisers, who advise around 2.9 million clients.”

The joint strategy with the ATO reduced outstanding personal tax debt by $37 million and secured over 6,600 lodgements from almost 8,000 tax practitioners.

“We expect this compliance strategy will support honest practitioners, address tax system integrity and help reduce the tax gap,” Klug said.

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Why doesn't the TPB target Accountants who setup SMSF without being licensed to do so? Surely it's not one big coincidence that they have so many knowledgeable clients who know how to setup SMSF's themselves.

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