Heard about bad planners, what about tax practitioners?

A tax practitioner has been penalised by the Tax Practitioners Board (TPB) because he prioritised personal spending on cars, holidays and dining expenses over meeting his own tax obligations.

The tax practitioner found himself suspended for a year because of his activities, which hardly compared to the five-year penalties imposed on other tax practitioners for offences such as failing to disclose a $1 million tax debt and overdue lodgement for more than 30 companies, and fraudulently lodging income tax returns for several clients.

Then, too, there was the five-year registration termination imposed on a practitioner for not providing evidence of professional indemnity insurance.

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The TPB this week announced it currently investigating more than 350 tax practitioners who are suspected of “high-risk behaviour” including failure to meet personal tax obligations, over-claiming work-related expenses on behalf of clients, egregious conduct which is considered black economy behaviour and non-lodgement of annual returns.

The TPB said a number of these cases were the result of referrals from the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) with TPB chief executive, Michael O’Neill pointing out that the organisation had handed down some heavy sanctions.

“Of eight cases investigated under the debt and lodgement project, five tax practitioners had their registrations terminated for failure to meet personal tax obligations, four of these with a five-year exclusion period,” he said.

“And of the eight investigations into non-compliance with CPE requirements, five tax practitioners were issued with suspensions, three with cautions and all eight ordered to complete additional hours of CPE.”

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Hmm. Those Ethics Units the University Graduate Accountants have done don't seem to be working very well. Maybe the only ones making a buck are the universities who are flogging these units, as they don't seem to be very effective.

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