Tax practitioners may face EUs and permanent bannings

Enforceable Undertakings (EUs) may become a fact of life for tax practitioners within an array of strengthened sanctions being considered for the Tax Practitioners Board (TPB).

The Government-initiated review of the TPB has canvassed the use of EUs alongside, at the highest level, giving the TPB the ability to permanently ban tax practitioners.

The review noted that the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) had been supportive of the TPB being given a broader range of sanctions and had noted that part of the so-called “individual’s tax gap” was attributable to poor behaviour by some tax practitioners.

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Further it said that both the ATO and the TPB itself had highlighted how high risk tax practitioners had ben able to avoid sanction.

“Higher risk tax practitioners are able to circumvent the investigation process and avoid disciplinary action through voluntarily deregistering before a formal investigation commences,” the TPB review said.

It said that Tax Agent Services Act also did not have a mechanism for treating the close associates of tax practitioners in the same way as a practitioner and that the ATO had “highlighted instances where certain persons closely associated with a de-registered or unregistered tax practitioner operate as a proxy of the de-registered or unregistered practitioners”.

The review said the TPB had suggested that the suite of sanctions it could use were insufficient in targeting and changing particular tax agent behaviours.

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yeah but is that all. i want everyone on the same level playing field. there must be public naming and shaming to go with it. no behind the wall publishing in internal magazine the public doesn't read. it needs to be tweeted and retweeted and left on the internet for generations to see what a crook they are

they need to suffer the same degradation and humiliation as financial planners.

after all we are all professionals aren't we. if financial planners and their families have to be subject to this, so should everyone else.

The problem is that financial advisers are also regulated by the TPB. If the TPB is given more powers how do you think they will use them? Exposing the thousands of dodgy accountants whose behaviour has been ignored by ASIC? Or jumping on board the financial adviser persecution bandwagon? I fear the latter.

TPB should not be given any more powers or resources until financial advisers are excluded from their scope. There is already more than enough financial adviser regulation by others. The TPB should be solely focused on regulating practitioners who are NOT licensed financial advisers. That is where the greatest risk to consumers now lies, and the biggest regulatory gap exists.

The way the regulations are going, soon it will be easier to set up in Malaysia, & provide advice to Aussie clients from offshore, both for tax & financial planning. No FOFA, no Opt In, just basic advice how it used to be.

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