Newsletter from the Tax Practitioners Board
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Issue 47 | October 2020 - General edition
TPB News

BAS services expanded for COVID-19 

On 15 April 2020, we expanded the scope of services that registered BAS agents could provide to their clients through a legislative instrument. This was in relation to the Government’s economic initiatives in response to COVID-19. With the recent extension of the JobKeeper scheme from 28 September 2020 until 28 March 2021, our legislative instrument will allow registered BAS agents to continue to legally provide services under the JobKeeper Payment extension rules.

Learn more.

FAQs on stimulus measures and the Code

We’ve added to our frequently asked questions (FAQs) on the COVID-19 stimulus measures and Code of Professional Conduct (Code) obligations. You can now learn about what your obligations are when providing a 10% decline in turnover certificate for the purposes of the decline in turnover test in the Fair Work Act 2009. You may want to save this page to your favourites as we update it regularly with new information.

Learn more.

ASIC extends COVID-19 relief

The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) has extended the financial advice relief related to the COVID-19 early release of superannuation (super) scheme. This means tax agents will be able to continue to provide their existing clients with advice on the early release of their super without holding an Australian financial services (AFS) licence. This benefits clients as it allows them to access affordable and timely advice during this uncertain time. ASIC has extended this relief until 15 April 2021.

Learn more.  

Comply with your obligations

Make sure you comply with your ongoing obligations to maintain your tax or BAS agent registration. Even though our COVID-19 concession exempts you from lodging your annual declaration if it’s due on or before 31 December 2020, you are still required to:
  • maintain professional indemnity insurance
  • meet CPE requirements
  • satisfy fit and proper requirements
  • comply with the Code, including maintaining your personal tax obligations.
Learn more

New MOU with CPA Australia

We’ve signed our first Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with a recognised tax agent association, CPA Australia. This is now our third with a recognised professional association. The intent of the MOUs is to highlight our intention to work collaboratively to promote the integrity of the tax profession. Not only do they allow both organisations to effectively exchange information, but they also ensure we are better able to track and monitor compliance. This helps to enhance consumer protection.

Learn more.
Practice management tips

Upcoming webinars - 29 October

Join us on Thursday 29 October for two free webinars. At 11:00am, learn about the process of verifying the identity of a client and assessing their suitability, along with the potential risks of illegal intentions towards the business relationship. At 2:00pm, continue your learning with us by hearing the latest information about the new policy guidance we have developed to assist you in meeting your obligations as a registered tax practitioner.

Register now.

Be cyber aware! 

Tax time is when cyber criminals are highly active. Being a tax practitioner makes you a very attractive target given your access to your clients’ personal information. It can be very difficult and sometimes very costly for you to recover yours or your client’s data if it gets lost or compromised. Find out what you can do to protect your business and your clients now.

Learn more.

TPB bi-annual survey

Our next bi-annual survey will be conducted from 26 October – 22 November 2020. It will be sent to a random sample of consumers and tax practitioners. You may receive a survey in your inbox during this time. If you do, please complete it. It’s only a short survey and takes about 3-5 minutes of your time. The survey provides us with useful insights and helps measure our effectiveness and policy and guidance material. If you have any queries, email

Learn more.

Fake Cash Flow Boost claim

We terminated the company tax agent registration of TLL Tax Pty Ltd for attempting to rort the COVID-19 stimulus Cash Flow Boost for over $20,000. Not only was this money obtained by making unsubstantiated and false claims, it was also retained by the agent and transferred to another of their bank accounts and not actually passed onto their clients. The company has been banned from reapplying for registration for two years.

Learn more.

Amending returns without consent

A company tax agent has had their registration terminated because it had insufficient supervisory arrangements and review processes. This led to the unauthorised lodgements of amended income tax returns of five taxpayers. Further, the company included its trust account details in these amended returns, without authority, thereby directing tax refunds to be paid into the company’s bank account. These amended returns were prepared by an unregistered and unsupervised individual in the company practice.

Learn more.

Is your client who they say they are?

Make sure you take appropriate steps to validate your client’s identity. If not, you risk compromising client data which could lead to fraud. We recently terminated a tax agent’s registration for lodging over 100 income tax returns (ITRs) at the request of three individuals. The individuals advised these ITR’s were for their employees and provided false documentation. The tax agent lodged without making proper enquiries on the identity of these employees, resulting in the release of fraudulent refunds.

Learn more.

False declarations in SMSF returns

A tax agent has had their registration terminated and is prohibited from applying for registration for two years. The agent prepared and lodged annual returns for three self-managed superannuation funds (SMSFs) for the 2013 to 2015 financial years. She falsely declared in each return that a particular SMSF auditor had audited the SMSF for the relevant year. However, no audits had actually been completed and the agent knew this. She also attempted to mislead the ATO when enquiries were made.

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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