Victorian-based The Associates Vic, trading as Brown Baldwin and Associates (BBA) have been banned for five years by the Tax Practitioners Board (TPB), after misleading the Australian Tax Office (ATO).
It followed a six-month investigation where the TPB found BBA had:
- Maintained two sets of financial accounts, one set for bank purposes and another for taxation purposes, which led to misleading information being given to the Commissioner of Taxation and credit/finance companies;
- Failed to meet its outstanding taxation obligations on several occasions;
- Did not supervise its staff sufficiently to ensure that they were acting competently; and
- Assisted some of its clients to set up companies for the purpose of avoiding payment of debts and tax.
The TPB found BBA’s directors, Andrew Locantro, Biren Shah and Rajinder Narula, were responsible for the misconduct of BBA and had provided misleading information to the TPB.
Ian Klug, TPB chair, said BBA had consistently and flagrantly ignored the standards required to be a tax practitioner.
“As a result of our investigation we concluded that the public could have no confidence that either the company or its directors will perform the functions of a registered tax agent either competently or with integrity,” Klug said.
“Where tax practitioners deliberately choose to jeopardise the high levels of trust that the community, and the law, expects of the industry, we will act with the harshest possible penalties.”