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Newsletter from the Tax Practitioners Board
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Issue 31 | June 2019 - Tax (financial) adviser edition
Image of Assistant Treasurer The Hon Michael Sukkar MP

New Assistant Treasurer, the Hon Michael Sukkar MP

The Hon Michael Sukkar MP was sworn in as Minister for Housing and Assistant Treasurer on 29 May. The Tax Practitioners Board (TPB) looks forward to working with him in his new portfolio.

A stamp with 'Rejected' on it and the word 'REJECTED' in red are shown in this image.

AAT rejects stay application by Gould

On 28 May the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT) rejected a stay application from former tax agent Mr Vanda Gould. In December 2018 we found Mr Gould was not a fit and proper person and terminated his registration with the maximum five-year exclusion from re-applying. The AAT noted the case concerned the use of 'multi-layered offshore structures' in secrecy havens 'to avoid Australian taxation and to accumulate wealth offshore'. 

Read our media release.

Millions in revenue recouped and asset risks reduced

Millions of dollars in revenue have been recouped and retirement savings at risk reduced after we commenced action in collaboration with the ATO on thousands of tax practitioners who had fallen behind in their own tax obligations. Many tax practitioners have responded to our requests, paying over $40 million in outstanding debts. We will continue to target tax practitioners who fail to meet their legal and ethical responsibilities.

Read our media release.

A gavel

Tax agent registrations terminated for overclaiming expenses

In April we terminated the tax agent registrations of Wollongong tax agents, DW & AR McNeice and David Warren McNeice, for overclaiming expenses on behalf of their clients. We found the partnership had breached the Code of Professional Conduct (Code) by failing to provide tax services competently, including deliberate disregard for taxation laws and ATO advice by repeatedly making claims for clients without substantiation or merit.

Read our media release.

Several file folders and a magnifying glass

Active investigations on hand 

We are increasing our investigations of high-risk tax practitioners with 376 active cases on hand. They involve issues such as: gross overstatements of deductions; offshore tax evasion schemes; and advisers in the black economy. The Board takes firm action if it determines registered tax practitioners have not complied with their obligations under the Tax Agent Services Act 2009 (TASA), including the Code.

Find out more.

A hand holding a magnifying glass over a paper

TPB and TASA review update

The independent review of the TPB and TASA continues under the expert leadership of Mr Keith James. Mr James has extensive experience working across legal and accounting firms, as well as with CPA Australia. Around 40 submissions have been received, and we expect most of these will be published on the Treasury website to encourage transparent and open debate. There will be further opportunities for your feedback after a Discussion Paper is released mid-year. The final report will be submitted to the Government by 31 October.

A woman pointing to the word 'webinar' illustrated along with some other illustrations

New webinar provider

Our free June webinars will now be hosted by Redback Connect. If you have registered for a June webinar, your registration has automatically been transferred to the new provider and you will receive a confirmation email from Redback. We are still accepting registrations for our June webinars. We’ll be discussing privacy and your ongoing obligations as a registered tax practitioner. Register now and don’t forget to claim continuing professional education/development for attending.

'Last chance' words on a frame

Last day to have your say

Have you provided your feedback on our draft practice noteTransfers of business by tax (financial) advisers and confidentiality’? Don’t miss out on having your say — submissions close tomorrow, Friday 7 June. We will consider all submissions before settling our position and finalising the practice note.  Written submissions can be made via email at tpbsubmissions@tpb.gov.au

An alarm clock with money coins in front of it

Application fee adjustment takes effect

As announced in the 2018-19 Budget, application fees to register or renew your tax (financial) adviser registration will increase on 1 July 2019. Fees are subject to a consumer price index (CPI) adjustment on 1 July each year. Applications paid and submitted before 1 July 2019 will be based on the old fee. Applications paid and submitted from 1 July 2019 will be based on the new fee. 

Read our Newsroom article.

Are you protected from a cyber-attack?

Check your professional indemnity (PI) insurance to determine if you are covered in the event of a cyber-attack. Be mindful that PI insurance does not generally cover for events such as: third party cyber liability; first party hacker damage; cyber extortion; data breach notification costs; and public relations costs. We recommend you consider appropriate risk mitigation for cyber threats, including the option of supplementing your insurance to cover cyber breaches.

See our updated explanatory paper.

A green alarm clock

Your registration renewal — your responsibility

Most tax practitioners are renewing their registration on time – which is at least 30 days before the registration expiry date. While we continue to help with two notifications prior to the due date, we are concerned about those falling behind. In April, 49 practitioners failed to renew and in May there were 118 outstanding renewals. Failure to renew can disrupt your business, adversely impacting your services and clients. 

Learn more.

 

Check your legal name

Before completing proof of identity (POI) checks when submitting your individual annual declaration, ensure your legal name on your identity documents is exactly the same as the name you used to register with us. If your legal name on the TPB Register is incorrect you must contact ASIC to update your details. It is important to get it right — if you fail to meet our POI requirements, your registration may be terminated. 

Find out more.

A businesswoman looking at a laptop and holding a tablet on hand

Managing your registration

If your circumstances change, you must notify us in writing within 30 days from when you become, or ought to have become, aware of any changes. This includes changes to your practice structure, contact details, legal or trading name or if you need to surrender (or cancel) your registration. To update your details login to My Profile or complete our online form.

You also need to notify ASIC of some changes. Find out more.

A group of professional people

Future of the tax profession

The Inspector-General of Taxation and Taxation Ombudsman report into the Future of the Tax Profession has been released. The report suggests the role of the TPB may need to expand in the future to keep pace with developments in the tax profession.

Read the report.

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Help us improve

We are continually striving to provide high quality services to our readers and would like to ask you a few questions about your experience with TPB eNews. Please help us improve by completing our quick survey. Be open and honest with your feedback. Your responses are confidential.

Complete our survey.

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FASEA update

The Financial Adviser Standards and Ethics Authority (FASEA) has released its final Program & Provider Accreditation Policy. The policy provides guidance to Higher Education Providers and Professional Associations on the approval requirements for a range of education pathways in the FASEA Education Pathways Policy.

Check the FASEA website.

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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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