Newsletter from the Tax Practitioners Board
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Issue 21 | July 2017 - General edition

Message from the Chair

The start of the new financial year and tax time means a busy time for tax practitioners. It is also an important time to check you are continuing to meet your obligations under the Code of Professional Conduct and taxation laws. 

Supporting your clients
The ATO has an increased focus on work-related expenses, and they have expressed concerns about the numbers of incorrect claims in agent-prepared returns, and while the amounts are relatively small, collectively the overall impact is significant. The ATO are often seeing taxpayers making claims for items where they have not spent the money, the item does not relate to their work or they have not kept appropriate records. Under the Code of Professional Conduct, registered tax practitioners must take reasonable care that taxation laws are applied correctly.

It is also essential that tax practitioners pass on refund monies to their clients promptly. Any refund monies received by a practitioner on behalf of a client should be passed on to the client within two weeks, unless there are exceptional circumstances or an agreement in place between the agent and client specifying other payment arrangements.

Your personal tax affairs
As a registered tax practitioner, you play a significant role in influencing and supporting the tax system. It is therefore a requirement for you to keep your personal tax obligations up-to-date. You need to make sure your personal tax affairs are in order, including:
  • lodging your personal income tax returns or business activity statements on time
  • paying your tax bill or coming to an arrangement with the ATO to pay amounts owing.
Maintaining your registration
You must notify us if any details related to your registration change. This tax time you should log into My Profile and check: 
  • your contact details are up-to-date, especially email addresses
  • you have updated your professional association membership details.
Make sure your professional indemnity (PI) insurance coverage is adequate and you are complying with the continuing professional education requirements, with particular attention to cyber-threats.

Greg Lewis
Acting Chair, Tax Practitioners Board

Cyber security - protect your practice!

We have released updated guidance related to cyber security for registered tax practitioners. Our professional indemnity insurance and continuing professional education guidance has been updated to reflect the emerging threat of cyber-attacks and the importance of tax practitioners proactively protecting themselves, their practice and their clients.

Read our media release

Whole-of-practice transfers

The Code of Professional Conduct states that, unless you have a legal obligation to do so, you must not disclose information relating to a client’s affairs to a third party unless you have obtained their permission. This means that if you are planning to sell your practice and transfer your clients to the new owner, you must obtain positive consent from your clients to disclose their information to the new owner.

Learn more about confidentiality of client information


Our free webinars will help you to stay up-to-date and you can claim up to one hour of continuing professional education for attending each webinar.

Register now

Work-related expenses

This tax time the ATO is increasing its focus on people who are over-claiming work-related expenses. We encourage you to take extra care in verifying claims made by your clients.

For more information visit the ATO's Tax professionals newsroom

Our reasonable care information sheet provides information and practical examples on ensuring taxation laws are applied correctly. 

Recognised professional associations

Following media reports and enquiries from practitioners, Acting Chair Greg Lewis has issued a statement clarifying the role of the TPB in the recognition of professional associations.

Read the statement

Future of the tax profession

The Inspector-General of Taxation (IGT) is conducting a review to examine the future of the tax profession. In particular, the review is deliberately forward-looking and seeks to raise awareness about the risks, challenges and opportunities affecting tax practitioners due to technological, social, policy and regulatory changes. You can make a submission until 28 July 2017.

Renewal processing times

We currently have a large number of new registration applications to process, so you may experience some delays in having your renewal applications processed over the next few months. However, you do not need to be concerned as you remain registered so long as you submit your renewal application on time.

Our average processing times are available from our website.

Mental health matters

Your mental health is important and can have an impact on your ability to run your business. If you are struggling, we encourage you to seek professional help or contact your professional association as early as possible. Visit beyondblue or call 1300 224 636.

Your feedback

We invite your feedback on topics or issues you would like us to address in future editions of TPB eNews.


About the Tax Practitioners Board
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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