Issue 73 | February 2023
TPB News
Let’s step into 2023

Welcome to our first edition for 2023! We hope you had an opportunity to unwind and rejuvenate during the holiday period and your 2023 is off to a great start. We have another big year ahead of us. One of our key focus areas is to implement our Expanded Compliance Program – increasing our investigations into high-risk tax practitioners and unregistered preparers. As always, we’re looking forward to working closely with you and assisting you to stay up to date with current information affecting tax practitioners.

Upholding integrity, confidentiality and conflict of interest

Our recent decisions regarding PricewaterhouseCoopers and Mr Peter Collins are a useful reminder of tax practitioner obligations under the Tax Agent Services Act 2009 and Code of Professional Conduct (Code). We are reviewing and updating our policy and guidance products to support you in maintaining confidentiality, managing conflicts of interest and in upholding integrity. Please review your own practice, processes and systems to protect yourself, your practice and your clients.

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Policy update
Relevant experience under a franchise

If you’re gaining or providing relevant experience under a franchise arrangement, you should check out our guidance document. The guidance provides important information for individuals to consider before entering into a franchise arrangement to gain relevant experience for registration purposes.

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Learn what’s new

We’ve started the year by releasing 3 new guidance documents:

We’ve also updated our information sheet on Confidentiality of client information to include guidance on how the confidentiality obligations apply to tax practitioners when they disclose information under the tax whistleblowing laws and non-compliance with laws and regulations framework.

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Practice management tips
Get ahead in 2023 with free CPE

Have you registered for our 2 webinars on Wednesday 15 February? At AEDT 11 am you can learn all about continuing professional education (CPE) including number of hours needed, the CPE period, relevant activities, keeping records, extenuating circumstances, and recognition of your association’s CPE. At AEDT 2 pm join us to understand your fit and proper person requirements. Find out how we assess fitness and propriety and how this relates to your registration as a tax or BAS agent.

Register now
Press play on our webinar recordings

3,500 tax and BAS agents joined us for our final 2022 webinars Know your obligations and Questions at the coalface. Don’t worry if you missed either session you can still earn free CPE by watching the recordings on our YouTube channel. You may also like to head to our webinar resources hub to access our webinar resources, including the presentation slides and hyperlink documents.

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Are you meeting your PI insurance requirements?

Professional indemnity (PI) insurance is a consumer protection mechanism to compensate your clients in the event they suffer loss due to an act, error or omission and is an ongoing registration requirement. If you fail to maintain PI insurance that meets our requirements, you may be breaching the Code. Login to your My profile account to check and update the details of your policy. You can also check out our video which shows how to easily update your details.

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Stay on top of all things TPB

Check out our handy tax practitioner checklist which includes a list of steps you can follow to make sure you never miss anything. The list will help you to manage your registration details, recognise the difference between our guidance materials, know how to make a complaint and much more!

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Update your professional association details

If you rely on being a voting member of a recognised professional association to gain your registration as a tax or BAS agent, you must keep your membership details current and up to date with us. To check and update your voting membership details, please visit My profile. We may contact you if your voting membership details are not current.

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Don't risk your registration

There are certain events that can affect your continued registration as a tax or BAS agent, including becoming an undischarged bankrupt. You must notify us of your undischarged bankrupt status within 30 days. We will consider a range of factors when determining if being an undischarged bankrupt should affect your registration as a tax practitioner.

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Lack of reasonable care leads to termination

A tax agent and their company’s registrations were terminated after our investigations revealed the tax agent failed to take reasonable care and provide adequate supervision over the tax agent services provided by the company. It was also found that both the individual and company tax agents failed to comply with their personal tax obligations. In terminating both registrations, the Board Conduct Committee also imposed a 2-year ban prohibiting them from reapplying for registration due to the seriousness of their conduct.

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Unregistered preparer stopped

We stopped an international entity from advertising the provision of tax agent services in Australia while not being a registered tax practitioner. Our swift action in this case stopped the unregistered preparer behaviour before it could negatively impact the Australian community.

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Cyber tips
Protect your practice from cyber-attack

The impact of a cyber-attack can be serious and costly. If you’ve been a victim, you’ll know you can suffer some serious losses and damage to your reputation. This can include first party and third party losses. To avoid this happening to you, find out about some of the ways you can protect yourself and your practice.

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Ransomware threatens everyone

Ransomware is a common and dangerous type of malware. It works by locking or encrypting your files so you can no longer access them. Why not check out the Australian Cyber Security Centre’s information and advice on ransomware. You can also read through case studies and learn from others about how ransomware has affected them.

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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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