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A Queensland tax agent has been stripped of her registration after committing a string of serious breaches against the regulator’s legislated Code of Professional Conduct, including claiming bogus tax deductions for clients resulting in underpaid tax.
Caren Moroney, an individual tax agent, and her associated company, CJM Accounting Pty Ltd (CJM Accounting), failed their clients, failed in their own tax compliance, and failed to cooperate with the connected ATO audit.
Clients of these tax agents were provided wrong tax advice, overclaiming tax deductions without appropriate evidence. Around 20 clients experienced ATO audits and adjustments to their income tax returns.
Ms Moroney and CJM Accounting also failed to comply with their own tax obligations, especially in dealing with GST and pay-as-you-go withholding.
The regulator, the Tax Practitioners Board (TPB), responded to investigate and sanction these tax agents. TPB chair, Ian Klug, confirmed the tax profession had no room for those who act unethically or dishonestly.
“This case had some of the worst features of abuse of trust, including failing to provide refunds to clients, and failure to cooperate with the related ATO audit. The Board banned the tax agents and supported the community by excluding them from reapplying for registration for five years, the maximum period under the law,” Mr Klug said.
The majority of Australians and businesses are supported by professional, registered tax practitioners to access government services and to support their tax and superannuation compliance. TPB survey results confirmed high levels of community trust in tax and BAS agents, acting honestly and ethically, with support at 89 per cent.
“Community confidence in tax practitioners and the system is particularly important as we prepare for tax time. The TPB will support honest taxpayers and practitioners, investigating serious misconduct, and dealing with those who abuse their clients or fail their own tax obligations,” Mr Klug continued.