74 tax practitioners in trouble over SMSFs

Seventy-four tax practitioners have found themselves in trouble with the Tax Practitioners Board (TPB) over lodging incorrect “and perhaps fraudulent” self-managed superannuation fund (SMSF) annual returns. 

The TPB said the 74, representing 106 SMSFs, had been identified as part of an Australian Taxation Office (ATO) compliance campaign. 

TPB chairman, Ian Klug said the TPB would be demanding an explanation from all 74 tax practitioners. 

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“Misconduct or failure to adequately respond to the TPB’s inquiries is a breach of the Code of Professional Conduct and may result in imposition of sanctions including suspension or termination of registration,” he said. 

“SMSFs are an important component of Australia’s taxation and superannuation system and SMSF auditors play a critical role in ensuring the integrity of the system through the annual audits of SMSFs. These audits must be completed by an approved SMSF auditor before an SMSF annual return can be lodged.” 

“SMSF trustees rely on their superannuation savings to fund their retirement. The Australian government relies on regulators like the TPB, the ATO and tax practitioners to ensure that these funds are properly managed.” 

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They need to be publicly identified - name & shame.

Also will be interesting to see if ASIC or any regulator takes action. You can bet if it were an adviser they would ban, pursue criminal charges and broadcast to the media in big letters!

Also under TPB, aren't they also caught up under our FASEA codes? If so, that alone should be grounds for dismissal and deregistration.

Nope. Accountants are not covered by the FASEA Code. They are covered by the TPB Code.

It's only financial advisers who are covered by numerous different codes and regulators that overlap and contradict each other to create an impossibly complex and expensive tangle of regulation, that ultimately makes it impossible for most consumers to access affordable, professional, financial advice.

This is exactly the sort of thing TPB should be doing. They should NOT be adding to the already crippling burden of regulation weighing down financial advisers. There are 7 different agencies involved in regulating financial advisers in Australia, with an 8th about to be added. The TPB is one of these 7 agencies that adds no incremental value to financial advice whatsoever.

Why hasn't the TPB been removed from financial adviser regulation? There was a government review report into the TPB last year which proposed this is an option. But the government has been sitting on that report ever since. At a time when consumers need advice more than ever, and inefficient regulation is driving up advice costs more than ever, removal of the TPB from advice regulation would be a quick and simple improvement. Why is the government stalling on this?

Why don't the TPB or ASIC ever question how so many SMSF's can be setup without the involvement of a Financial Adviser? We all know the answer.... Unlicensed Accountants giving personal advice. I bet most members of SMSF wouldn't have a clue about their obligations.

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