Newsletter from the Tax Practitioners Board
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Issue 26 | July 2018 - General edition

Message from the Chair

Promoting registered agents
Tax time 2018 has commenced and our digital advertising has been encouraging small businesses seeking a tax or BAS agent to look for the Registered tax practitioner symbol and check if they are registered through the public register.

Digital advertising through Google, Bing, Yellow Pages, TrueLocal, LinkedIn and Gumtree resulted in more than 1.1 million advertisements appearing when small businesses were searching for a tax or BAS agent, and have so far generated more than 4,300 visits to the TPB Register.

Throughout tax time we will continue to raise consumer awareness of checking that their tax or BAS agent is registered. You can help by ensuring you use the Registered tax practitioner symbol to show that you meet the standards required to be registered as a tax practitioner and report to the TPB any issues where you think another is providing services for a fee whilst unregistered.

Ensuring compliance
Having processed more than 12,000 tax (financial) adviser renewals by 30 June this year, the TPB’s focus will now be on early intervention and ensuring ongoing compliance by tax practitioners with registration requirements and the Code of Professional Conduct (Code).

In 2018-19 we will undertake reviews of practitioners continuing professional education (CPE) records to ensure compliance with our CPE policy and their renewal requirement. These reviews will provide insights into how tax practitioners are maintaining their knowledge and skills relevant to the services they provide that help us develop targeted guidance and support.

The TPB will also have a greater focus on helping to combat the black economy, ensuring compliance with taxation laws in the area of work-related expenses, unregistered entities and working with the ATO to identify and manage agents of concern.  The TPB will also be responding to outcomes and any potential recommendations from the Inspector-General of Taxation’s review into the future of the tax profession.

These activities align with our risk-based approach to compliance, focusing our resources on issues where there is the greatest risk of harm to taxpayers and the community.

Ian R Taylor
Chair, Tax Practitioners Board

Work-related expenses

With the ATO's increased focus on work-related expenses and alleged overclaiming (including by registered agents), it's important you understand how it impacts you as a tax practitioner, especially in relation to the Code. Attend our free webinar on 14 August to learn about your obligations and to also hear from the ATO about their work-related expenses focus areas this tax time.

The ATO has also published 34 industry-specific deduction guides to help your clients understand what they can claim. It is your responsibility as a practitioner to ensure that all tax deductions claimed are legitimate and substantiated.

Tackling the black economy

Several measures were announced in the 2018-19 Federal Budget to combat the black economy, including:

  • a multi-agency taskforce to develop increased intelligence, and be equipped to identify and prosecute the most egregious cases of black economy activity
  • additional funding for the ATO and the TPB for enhanced compliance and enforcement activities.

This new approach will deliver targeted, stronger and more visible enforcement which will demonstrate the consequences of participating in the black economy.

Read the media release

CPE record reviews 

We will be undertaking some reviews of tax practitioner CPE records following the renewal of their registration where they have indicated they have met the CPE requirements. These reviews will commence in early August and you will be advised if you are selected for review. Please ensure you comply with any requests from the Board on a timely basis.

Our CPE policy requires you to maintain records and evidence of your CPE activities, including the details and the hours completed.

Learn more about recording CPE activities 

Promoting your services online?

Showing that you're a registered tax or BAS agent when you're promoting your services online helps consumers understand the benefit of using a registered tax practitioner and the risks associated with unregistered providers. Display your Registered tax practitioner symbol or provide your registration number whenever promoting your services. If you operate through a company registration, use your company name and symbol or registration number so consumers can check you're registered.

If you suspect someone is providing or advertising services who is unregistered, let us know by making a complaint.

Read more

Watch our free webinars

Our free webinars can count towards your CPE. If you missed one of our live webinars, you can view it on our YouTube channel and still claim your one hour of CPE for each webinar viewed. Subscribe to our YouTube channel now to be notified when any new webinar videos are published.

Annual declarations

In 2017-18, more than 600 tax practitioners either surrendered their registration or had it terminated due to a failure to comply with the annual declaration requirement.

The annual declaration process requires you to demonstrate you are meeting your ongoing registration requirements. Failure to submit your annual declaration on a timely basis could result in a loss of registration. We will email you approximately 45 days before your due date to let you know when your annual declaration is due and how to complete it. Make sure you keep your email address up to date with the TPB so you don't miss any important reminders such as this. The annual declaration should take you less than five minutes to complete online.

Read more

Recent compliance outcomes

The Board Conduct Committee has recently imposed administrative sanctions on 70 tax practitioners, including terminating the registration of six tax practitioners for failures to comply with the Tax Agent Services Act 2009 (TASA), including the Code.

Read more about how the Board deals with TASA breaches

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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