Due to the COVID Omicron variant, 2022 hasn’t started the way any of us would have liked. Once again, we’ve needed to adapt to the changing environment. Restrictions are easing, but we understand this is still a difficult time. So you can continue to focus on your clients, we’ll maintain our COVID-19 concessions and you’ll also be able to find advice and guidance on our website, through eNews and as part of our webinar and speaking events programs. We’re in this together.
We’re aware that areas of Queensland and New South Wales have been severely affected by devasting floods. If you (or your practice) are affected, don’t worry about your TPB matters. We understand that ensuring the safety and security of yourself and your family will be your main priority. If you need assistance, you can contact us when you’re ready and we’ll work with you to make appropriate arrangements regarding your registration.
Bringing knowledge and experience to the new Financial Services and Credit Panel
Congratulations to our Board members Debra Anderson, Craig Stephens and Judy Sullivan on their appointment to the Australian Securities and Investments Commission’s (ASIC) Financial Services and Credit Panel (FSCP). The FSCP is the single disciplinary body for financial advisers which commenced 1 January 2022. The panel is made up of 31 appointees, selected following industry consultation. We know Debra, Craig and Judy will do a wonderful job and will bring an impressive range of knowledge and experience to the FSCP.
Eligible tax (financial) advisers can continue to promote confidence among consumers using the symbol
If you’re a registered tax (financial) adviser who is also a relevant provider with ASIC you’re eligible to use the Registered tax practitioner symbol (symbol) until your TPB registration expires. However, if you’re not a relevant provider with ASIC, you’re not permitted to use the symbol from 1 January 2022 because your tax (financial) adviser registration has ceased and you no longer meet the certification requirements for using the symbol.
Replacement of the Tax Agent Services Regulations 2009
The Tax Agent Services Regulations 2009 (TASR) contains the qualifications and experience requirements for registration as a tax practitioner and the requirements to become a recognised tax practitioner association. The existing TASR are scheduled to expire on 1 April 2022, and will be replaced by Tax Agent Services Regulations 2022. The operation of the regulations will be unchanged, with only minor technical changes being made to reflect current drafting conventions.
Why not join us at the two webinars we are hosting on Wednesday 23 March. In our first webinar at 11:00am, we’re teaming up with the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) to discuss the new proof of identity requirements for tax practitioners. You may also like to join members of our executive team at 1:00pm for an open session where you can lead the discussion and ask questions in relation to your obligations as a registered tax practitioner.
The Australian National Audit Office (ANAO) is undertaking a performance audit of the effectiveness of the ATO’s engagement with tax practitioners. Part of the audit includes a survey of tax and BAS agents to better understand your views about the ATO’s engagement with you. The survey will be run by ORIMA Research. Registered tax practitioners should receive a survey via email in the coming weeks, which will remain open for two weeks. The ANAO is also accepting written submissions via it’s website.
We’ve released answers to your questions asked at our ‘Confidentiality and conflicts – what to do!’ webinar. Find out if a verbal phone call is ok for permission to give out client bank information, and if you need to obtain a new letter of engagement each time you use a new online computer program. Learn the answers to these questions and many more. If you missed our webinar, you can watch our recording and still earn one hour of free CPE.
If you notice something is not right with a tax practitioner, you can contact us. Before you do this, check that we are able to investigate your complaint by reading our complaints information to find out about the types of complaints we can act on, how to make a complaint and what happens after you lodge a complaint with us.
Join Board Member, Peter de Cure, when he discusses client verification at the next ATO Open Forum session on 22 March. This is an opportunity for you to interact with us and the ATO and hear about the latest updates and upcoming changes. You can also raise questions and participate in the online discussion about matters of importance to you and your practice. Your attendance may contribute towards your CPE so be sure to register!
NSW tax agent terminated after misappropriating funds while in a partnership with wife
The Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT) upheld our decision to terminate Richard Plaskitt’s tax agent registration after his partnership misappropriated approximately $330,000 in client funds amongst other wrongdoings. Mr Plaskitt was the sole supervising tax agent for the partnership and his wife was the only other partner and performed bookkeeping duties. Mr Plaskitt and the partnership were terminated and are both prohibited from reapplying for registration for the maximum period of five years.
Lack of supervision means former franchisee fails to obtain tax agent registration
Our decision to reject the application for the tax registration of Suthakaran Thanabalasingam has been upheld by the AAT after he failed to meet the work experience registration requirements. Mr Thanabalasingam claimed he received relevant experience under the supervision of Darren Gleeson, a now terminated tax agent. It was found that Mr Thanabalasingam hadn’t worked under adequate supervision and control.
We became aware of a company that was assisting its clients, for a fee, with preparing applications for the early release of superannuation in order to pay for weight loss surgery. Our investigation led to the discovery of two additional companies providing the same type of tax agent service for a fee. All three companies were unaware that the service was considered to be a tax agent service, cooperated with our investigations and have now provided signed undertakings confirming they would no longer provide tax agent services for a fee or other reward without being registered.
Take a moment to remind yourself to be vigilant about Cyber Security
We have been warned that Australians could easily be seen as targets by Russia, due to our country’s support of the Ukraine. As a result, the Australian Cyber Security Centre (ACSC) has updated its guidance, warning Australian businesses to be on alert for increased cyber-attacks. While the ACSC is not aware of any current or specific threats to Australian organisations, adopting an enhanced cyber security posture and increased monitoring for threats will help to reduce the impacts to Australian businesses including your own.
The Tax Practitioners Board (TPB) was established to regulate tax practitioners in order to protect consumers. The TPB assures the community that tax practitioners meet the appropriate standards of professional and ethical conduct.
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