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Issue 59 | October 2021 | Tax (financial) adviser edition
TPB News

Promoting better mental health

October is National Mental Health Month where the Australian community comes together to raise awareness and promote better mental health for all. This year’s theme is ‘Mental Health: Post Pandemic Recovery Challenges and Resilience' and will focus on raising awareness about mental health across various industries. We’re hosting a webinar – Taking care of business: Mental health and wellbeing on 20 October with special guest speakers from Beyond Blue. Register today to learn ways to improve your mental health and navigate stressful situations.

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Make a valuable contribution to your future regulation

You’re invited to participate in a short survey which is part of a study launched by Swinburne University of Technology and RMIT University. The research is seeking tax practitioner views on the review of the Tax Practitioners Board to identify any perceived gaps, benefits and challenges associated with the proposed recommendations and ensure policy developments are fit for purpose. The survey only takes 10 minutes – have your say and make a valuable contribution to the regulation and operation of tax practitioners.

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Policy update

Don't miss a chance to have your say

Treasury is inviting comment on the exposure draft regulations and legislative instrument which implements key elements to support the operation of the Better Advice Bill including:

  • the criteria for when ASIC refers matters to the single disciplinary body
  • extending the deadline to complete the financial adviser exam
  • outlining the registration, education and training requirements for financial advisers and more.

Responses are required by 15 October, have your say and make a valuable contribution to the exposure draft regulations.

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Support for tax practitioners affected by COVID-19

Due to the ongoing impacts of COVID-19, we’ve extended many of our temporary concessions until 30 June 2022 to assist you to meet your obligations with us. This includes an extension to the exemption to complete your annual declarations, the removal of the 25% cap for relevant technical/professional reading in our continuing professional education (CPE) policy, the allowance of educative health and wellbeing activities as relevant CPE, the use of alternative assessment arrangements for Board approved courses and renewal concessions.

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Keeping up-to-date with your tax affairs

Have you noticed we have updated our information sheet about complying with taxation laws in the conduct of your personal affairs? The key update is about what the term ‘personal affairs’ means in relation to associated entities of a tax practitioner. We also updated our ‘Consequences’ section where we provide more information about how we decide the most appropriate sanction to be applied. In particular, how we take into account a tax practitioner’s history of non-compliance when determining the sanction.
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Do you have appropriate supervision arrangements?

We’ve released our finalised guidance on supervision and control. The guidance assists company and partnership entities to understand if they have a sufficient number of individuals registered to meet our requirements and includes useful considerations to determine if adequate supervision and control exists, including in remote working situations. You can also learn about our recommendation to use a supervisory plan to establish specific processes and procedures for your supervisory arrangements to help establish a clear understanding of the responsibilities of supervisors and staff.

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Have you updated your PI insurance details?

Make sure you tell us about any changes impacting your registration, including changes to your professional indemnity (PI) insurance details. This includes changes to the details of your own policy or of the registered tax practitioner who holds the policy that covers you. Changes can be notified via My Profile or by using one of our online forms. If you need help, our PI insurance video will guide you through the process.

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Practice management tips

Looking to improve your mental health?
Attend our 20 October webinar!

This Mental Health Awareness Month learn ways to improve your mental health and navigate stressful situations by joining our webinar - Taking care of business: Mental health and wellbeing. Special guest speakers, Mel Novak and Linda Sheahan, from Beyond Blue and Small Business Adviser, Tim Hoopman will share some helpful information and tips. The Board recently extended the opportunity for tax practitioners to count mental health programs as relevant CPE, so there is a double benefit! 

Register now

Your CPE questions answered

Find out the answers to your CPE questions by reading the responses to the questions that we received at our webinar – Continuing professional education. We answer questions about CPE requirements, COVID-19, CPE exemptions, rolling over CPE and much more. If you missed our live webinar you can watch the recording and still claim CPE.

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Earn CPE and help your clients improve their cash flow
Tax time is when you look hard at your clients’ businesses and you may come across some cash flow problems. Discussing these issues can be difficult, but left unaddressed they can lead to financial and regulatory problems. The digital Cash Flow Coaching Kit offers practical tools to complement your knowledge and expertise, and helps you plan and deliver a coaching conversation about cash flow with your small business clients. Attend an ATO introductory webinar to find out more and earn free CPE.
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Compliance

Help for taxpayers impacted by fake tax agent

We’ve been contacting thousands of West Australian taxpayers to offer assistance after they used the services of Jessa Van Stroe (also known as Jessa Layola), who was illegally preparing tax returns for a fee or reward. We have encouraged anyone who used her services to urgently review their tax returns and seek assistance from a registered tax agent if help is required. Curtin University’s Curtin Tax Clinic (CTC) are also offering free tax advice to people impacted by Ms Van Stroe.

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Failure to provide adequate supervision leads to termination

The Board Conduct Committee (BCC) terminated a tax agent's registration after they failed to adequately supervise their employees and contractors. The BCC found the tax agent had breached Code item 7 of the Code of Professional Conduct by failing to ensure the tax agent services provided on their behalf were provided competently. The tax agent also obstructed enquiries into their own tax affairs and sent inappropriate correspondence to the TPB.

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Cyber tips

Cyber security threats affecting Australian networks

The Australian Cyber Security Centre recently released its Annual Cyber Threat Report which provides an overview of the key cyber security threats affecting Australian networks during 2020-21.

  • Cyber threats are increasing in both complexity and frequency, with a cybercrime reported every eight minutes in Australia.
  • Over $33 billion in financial losses to cybercrime were reported by Australian individuals and organisations via ReportCyber.
  • The top three cybercrime types reported were fraud (23%), shopping (17%) and online banking (12%)
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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