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Newsletter from the Tax Practitioners Board
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Issue 42 | May 2020 - General edition
TPB News

Health and wellbeing CPE

During this difficult time, we understand that it’s important you manage your mental health and wellbeing in order to continue to provide services to your clients. To assist you, we're currently accepting appropriate educative health and wellbeing activities that will count towards your continuing professional education (CPE) hours. Remember though, the vast majority of your CPE must still be relevant to the tax practitioner services you provide.

Learn more

COVID-19 tip off

Most tax practitioners are working hard to support clients through coronavirus (COVID-19) while dealing with impacts to their own business – we thank you for the support you’re providing the community. However, we’re aware that some practitioners and unregistered providers are trying to defraud the Government’s COVID-19 stimulus package. We’ll take firm action against these practitioners. If you know of someone doing the wrong thing, report them through our hotline (1300 362 829) or mailbox (covid19tipoff@tpb.gov.au). All reports will be treated confidentially.

Learn more.

COVID-19 FAQs

To assist your clients and to support your practice we’re updating our guidance on the COVID-19 stimulus measures with a list of frequently asked questions (FAQs). These also address your obligations under the Code of Professional Conduct (Code). This list will be updated regularly to ensure you have the most up to date information.

Learn more.

Supporting you through COVID-19

Keep up to date with how we’re providing support to tax practitioners affected by COVID-19. Some of the things we’re doing include waiving the requirement to complete annual declarations and temporarily revising our approach to activities that meet our CPE requirements. We’ve also expanded the scope of services that registered BAS agents can provide to their clients related to the Government’s economic initiatives.

Learn more.
Practice management tips

Earn free CPE

Join us on 20 May at our webinars and earn free CPE! At our first webinar, you'll learn about what a high risk tax practitioner is and what we're doing to protect the integrity of the tax profession. At our second webinar, find out what you can expect from your clients and how an engagement letter can assist you to inform your clients of your expectations.

Register now.

Proof of identity check video

Most tax practitioners won’t be required to complete their annual declaration this year due to COVID-19. This has likely been deferred until next year. When the time does come for you to submit your annual declaration, if you haven’t done so already, you’ll be required to complete a one-off proof of identity (POI) process. To help you through this process, we’ve created a video which takes you step by step through the check.

View now.

Adapting to a changing environment

Over the last two weeks, we ran a two-part webinar series on adapting to a changing environment. Part one focused on tips for continuing your business in a rapidly changing environment, while still complying with your obligations. In part two, we joined forces with the ATO to cover the Government’s COVID-19 stimulus package measures and support available for tax practitioners. Our recordings will be available soon – subscribe to our YouTube channel to be notified as soon as they’re available.

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Compliance

Stolen tax refunds and fraudulent returns

A tax agent had their registration terminated by the Board Conduct Committee (BCC) as a result of serious misconduct, involving stolen tax refunds and fraudulent returns. The tax agent redirected over $650,000 of clients’ tax refunds into his personal bank accounts without their knowledge and authority. He also lodged fraudulent tax returns on his clients’ behalf and used their money to pay his personal tax debts. The tax agent also received a five-year ban from applying for registration.     

Learn more.

False audit declarations

A tax agent had his registration terminated and was banned from re-applying for four years after making false declarations in over 170 self-managed superannuation fund (SMSF) tax returns. The tax agent included details of an SMSF auditor in the tax returns when he knew they hadn’t been audited. He also failed to advise clients of this information. The BCC found the agent’s conduct breached the Code and he ceased to be a fit and proper person to be registered.

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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