TPB welcomes Govt reforms

TPB Tax Practitioners Board Michael Sukkar ATO Ian Klug

3 December 2020
| By Chris Dastoor |
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The Tax Practitioners Board (TPB) has welcomed the announcement from the Government that it will begin to implement a range of reforms to the Tax Agent Services Act 2009 and the Tax Agent Services Regulations 2009 (TASR) and consult broadly on a range of other measures. 

The TPB said the reforms would enhance the independence of the TPB, reduce red tape for tax practitioners, give greater community confidence and set higher standards in the profession.

Assistant Treasurer, Michael Sukkar, said the panel received more than 90 submissions and met with multiple stakeholders to gauge the effectiveness of the TPB and Tax Agent Services Act 2009.

“Overall, of the 28 recommendations in the Review, the Government supports in full or in-part with 10 recommendations and supports in principle with another 10 recommendations,” Sukkar said.

Reforms being brought forward included:

  • Greater independence from the Australian Tax Office (ATO), so the TPB had clear accountability and responsibility to the public and Government. This would provide confidence that the TPB’s disciplinary actions were imposed by an independent regulator;
  • Reduction in red tape, which included streamlining the regulation of tax (financial) advisers and allowing the TPB to accept different types of experience as being relevant to a practitioner’s registration;
  • Ensuring education and experience requirements were set at the right level for tax practitioners to provide community confidence in the tax profession;
  • Bolstering eligibility requirements to ensure that only those individuals and entities that met high standards of ethical and professional behaviour could obtain tax practitioner registration; and
  • Expanding information that currently appeared on the TPB’s public register so that consumers of tax services could be even more informed and safeguarded.

Ian Klug, TPB chair, said these reforms would strengthen the TPB’s position as an effective, independent regulator and will further protect consumers of tax practitioner services by improving the integrity of the tax practitioner profession.

“These changes also support whole of government approaches, reduce red tape, and increase collaboration with the ATO and other regulators,” Klug said.

“As certain reforms are implemented, the TPB will provide further information and guidance regarding these changes to assist tax practitioners and other stakeholders.

“We will also work with the Treasury and Government to support consultation on the other measures proposed.”

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