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Newsletter from the Tax Practitioners Board
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Issue 45 | August 2020 - General edition
TPB News

Our Client Services team supports you! 

The 2019–20 financial year has been one of the most challenging years for many Australians. At the Tax Practitioners Board, it’s been no exception. We’ve had to change the way our staff work in order to continue to support you through these challenging times. We’re proud to say that although this has been a tough year, our Client Services team has been able to successfully assist tax practitioners.

Learn more.

Assessment concessions extended

Earlier this year as a result of COVID-19, we temporarily revised our policy on the assessment requirements for Board approved courses. Given the ongoing issues, we’ve extended our temporary concession. The Board requires that at least 40% of your total assessment is completed under some form of independent supervision. Where supervised assessments can’t be conducted, we’re accepting alternative options such as remote or online invigilation. This concession will remain in place until the end of the year at least.

Learn more.

COVID-19 support

Get in touch with us if you’re having difficulties meeting your requirements. Some of the support we’ve offered in response to COVID-19 include:
  • extending services BAS agents can legally provide on the Government stimulus package
  • removing the 25% cap for continuing professional education (CPE) activities
  • accepting limited health and wellbeing training to count towards CPE
  • relaxing the requirement for at least 40% of the total assessment for a Board approved course to be completed under independent supervision
  • creating a dedicated COVID-19 webpage and hotline.
Learn more.
Practice management tips

Watch our recorded webinars

Did you know that all our webinars are recorded and posted on our YouTube channel? Any webinar you watch will count towards your CPE as long as it assists you to maintain the knowledge and skills relevant to the tax practitioner services you provide. Just make sure you keep a record of the webinars you’ve watched. You can also subscribe to our channel to receive notifications when new recordings become available.

Learn more.

Upcoming webinars

Join us on Tuesday 25 August for our webinars. At 1pm, we’re talking about this year’s Corporate Plan. Hear about how we plan to continue to support the public and enhance the integrity of the tax profession by supporting honest tax practitioners. At 3pm, we’re talking about work-related expenses. Hear about what’s new, why there’s a focus on the claims and your responsibilities and obligations.

Register now.

Be cyber aware FAQs

We’ve compiled some of the frequently asked questions (FAQs) we received during our webinar Be cyber aware. Learn how to protect your business and client information from cyber criminals – you’ll find out answers related to cyber-attacks, ways to protect yourself and your data, verifying information, insurance and much more. 
 
Learn more.

New and renewal application tips

See our new website information – Helpful tips to complete your application to help you when completing your new application or renewal. One of the top tips included in this section is to ensure you use the latest version of your internet browser when completing any applications. Find out what other tips we have, to ensure you can submit your application or renewal form without a hitch!
 
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Compliance

Increase in terminations

The use of better data analytics in our investigations team, together with an increase in the number of investigators has resulted in an increase in termination of tax practitioner registrations. During 2019–20, we’ve had a 129% increase in terminations compared to the previous year. This supports our role in resolving and acting on complaints, referrals and intelligence. It also improves the overall level of consumer protection that we aim to provide and ensures that tax practitioners compete on a level playing field.

Learn more.

Terminated for tax debt

Following a hearing, the Administrative Appeals Tribunal upheld our decision to terminate the registration of Mr Duncan Bell, a Darwin based tax agent. Mr Bell failed to comply with his own personal tax affairs, owing a significant tax debt to the Australian Taxation Office (ATO), which at times was as large as $750k. This example provides a warning to all tax practitioners that it’s important to deal effectively with the ATO if their own tax situation gets in arrears.

Learn more.

Bogus tax agent caught

The Federal Court is in the process of deciding how to penalise an unlawful provider of tax agent services. Brisbane man Kent Scott Hacker and his associated companies were found guilty of unlawfully preparing and lodging income tax returns for thousands of taxpayers. He and his companies continued to provide unlawful tax agent services, often to unsuspecting clients, even after they had previously given an undertaking to the court that they would stop their activity.

Learn more.

Tax evasion over $1.6 million

A tax agent was found to have grossly underreported his income in his 2017 to 2019 tax returns, resulting in a tax shortfall of over $1.6 million. The ATO found that the agent engaged in tax evasion and as a result, the Board Conduct Committee (BCC) found that the agent had breached the Code of Professional Conduct. The BCC terminated the agent’s registration and imposed the maximum ban of five years on the agent from applying for registration.

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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