Federal Court finds Brisbane tax agent in contempt

31 July 2020

The Federal Court has delivered two judgements, finding that Kent Hacker and his business One Stop Global Staffing (OSGS) has contravened the Tax Agent Services Act 2009 on numerous occasions and were in contempt of court by providing tax agent services.

In November 2018, the Australian Tax Office (ATO) raided the office of Brisbane-based OSGS and discovered evidence indicating Hacker’s business had been preparing and lodging income tax returns unlawfully for thousands of taxpayers.

Hacker had kept records of the taxpayers’ personal details including their date of birth, tax file number and bank account details.

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The TPB began investigating the matter and brought proceedings before the Federal Court in February 2019, seeking both civil penalties and an interim injunction. The company gave an undertaking to the court that they would cease activity.

Despite the undertaking, and a later court order to display large notices at the OSGS office warning taxpayers the risk of using the company’s services, Hacker carried on providing services.

Ian Klug, TPB chair, said it was “extraordinary” that each time Hacker admitted to being in contempt of court, he went onto unlawfully lodge additional income tax returns for clients.

“We would urge anyone paying for tax agent services, particularly during this tax-time, to be suspicious of the promise of large tax refunds and check the TPB register to ensure the legitimacy of their agent’s registration,” Klug said.

“Never share your myGov password with anyone as doing so puts your personal and financial information at risk.’

The Court would hold a further hearing on 28 September, 2020, to decide on penalties.

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