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Newsletter from the Tax Practitioners Board
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Issue 34 | September 2019 - Tax (financial) adviser
TPB news

One-stop shop

If you’re looking for a ‘one-stop shop’ for all our media releases, news articles and links to previous editions of TPB eNews then check out our Newsroom page. We have updated our website’s homepage with an easily accessible Newsroom button to direct you straight to the page or you can save it as a favourite. Get all the latest news in just ‘one stop’ and you’ll never miss an update from us again.

Visit our newsroom.

Website maintenance break

We are making some improvements to our website.  As a result, our website will be unavailable from 7pm on Friday 27 September to 6am on Monday 30 September (AEST). If your registration renewal or annual declaration is due before 1 October, we strongly encourage you to lodge early so you don’t miss your due date. Thanks for your patience!

Compliance

Targeting fraudulent BAS activity

Three registered tax practitioners have had their registration terminated with a five-year ban on reapplying following investigations into fraudulent BAS activity. These cases highlight the scrutiny that tax practitioners must be prepared to undergo in meeting the stringent requirements of registration. Tax practitioners who are involved in fraudulent activities of this kind undermine public trust in honest tax advisers. Where we see criminality, we’ll also refer to the authorities for investigation and possible prosecution.

Learn more.

AAT decision backs TPB finding on grounds of public interest 

The Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT) rejected applications by Taxation Guru Pty Ltd and Mr Gambhir Watts to stay the TPB decisions which terminated their tax agent registration. Taxation Guru’s registration was terminated when they failed to comply with the Code of Professional Conduct (Code) by claiming unsubstantiated deductions on behalf of clients that were clearly not allowable and unlawful. Mr Watts, the sole director and supervising agent, had his registration terminated after he ceased to meet ‘fit and proper’ requirements.

Learn more.

Termination for serious Code breaches

An investigation into a tax agent’s behaviour found they had breached multiple items of the Code. The agent failed to:

  • act with honesty and integrity
  • respond to requests and directions from the Board
  • comply with personal tax obligations
  • account to clients for money received on trust in a timely manner.
Considering the serious nature of the breaches, the tax agent registration was terminated and they were prohibited from reapplying for registration for three years.

Learn more.

Tax Time

Look for the Symbol

We’re encouraging consumers of tax practitioner services to look for the Registered tax practitioner symbol (Symbol) to ensure their practitioner is registered. If you’re looking to promote your business, why not download the Symbol and use it on your promotional material? The Symbol promotes confidence among consumers that you have the right qualifications and experience to manage their tax affairs. It’s free for all registered tax practitioners, just remember to follow the guidelines and include your registration number.

Download your Symbol.

Practice management tips

Reasonable care obligations

Reasonable care is an important part of the Code. You’re required to take reasonable care in ascertaining a client’s state of affairs and ensuring taxation laws are applied correctly. There’s no simple formula or checklist when considering reasonable care. Determining reasonable care will involve exercising your professional judgement and taking into account relevant factors. This will be different for each situation and could include referring to legislation and other relevant material. Don’t just accept what you have been told.

Learn more.

Your annual declaration is important!

We continue to remind everyone of the importance of submitting annual declarations on time. There are still a large number of practitioners that are ignoring our notifications. We understand it’s a busy time of year, but failure to submit your annual declaration means you’re failing to respond to a Board request. This is a breach of the Code and has serious consequences which could impact your business. Remember – it’s a simple online process and no payment is required.
 
Learn more.

Free ethics webinars

If you’re confused about how the TPB’s Code and the Financial Adviser Standards and Ethics Authority’s (FASEA) Code of Ethics will work together, there’s still time to register for our Ethics for tax (financial) advisers webinar on tomorrow. TPB Board member, Julie Berry and FASEA Chief Executive Officer, Stephen Glenfield will be online to answer your questions and clarify your obligations and responsibilities. The webinar is free and can count towards your continuing professional education.

Register now.

Do you have the right qualifications?

Do you need help determining if your Australian education qualifications meet the FASEA education standards? If you have completed the Education Pathways Tool and still have questions, you can now contact FASEA using their Australian Qualifications Feedback Service. The assessment will take up to 10 business days to complete and a fee of $120 for simple applications and $250 for complex applications is applicable.
 
Apply for qualification feedback.

Legislative updates

TPB review update

Following the release of the Review of the Tax Practitioners Board - Discussion Paper in July, a second round of consultation has now occurred – attended by most of the main professional associations plus other interested stakeholders. The review team had further meetings with relevant Government regulators and agencies. The closing date for submissions has now passed and the review team would like to thank everyone for their time and effort in lodging submissions. The Final Report for Government is due 31 October.

The IGTO wants to hear from you

The Inspector-General and Taxation Ombudsman (IGTO) has developed a draft framework of what the community expects should make for good or improved tax administration. This draft framework will be subject to extensive community consultation before it is finalised. Given the important role of tax practitioners in the taxation administration system, the IGTO is particularly keen to get your feedback. You can provide your feedback at enquiries@igt.gov.au, or call (02) 8239 2111.
 
Learn more.

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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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