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Thousands of WA taxpayers impacted by unregistered agent can now get free tax help

The TPB is reaching out to offer help to thousands of Australians who used the services of an unregistered tax agent.

Thousands of WA taxpayers impacted by unregistered agent can now get free tax help
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  • Juliet Helmke
  • September 21, 2021
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The Tax Practitioners Board (TPB) is trying to get in touch with thousands of West Australian taxpayers who used the services of an unregistered tax agent who was recently ordered to cease operating by the federal court.

Taxpayers who used the services of Jessa Van Stroe (also known as Jessa Layola), should review the tax returns she prepared on their behalf, checking that the details she provided are accurate, the TPB advised.

The TPB is working closely with Curtin University’s Curtin Tax Clinic (CTC), which is offering free tax advice to people impacted by Ms Van Stroe. Anyone who has used her services can contact CTC for free help reviewing their tax affairs.

Dale Pinto, head of the taxation discipline at Curtin Law School, said it was important for anyone who has used the services of unregistered preparers, like Ms Van Stroe, to review their tax returns. 

“Unregistered preparers do not have the necessary skills or expertise to provide tax advice and by using her services these taxpayers have no protection against penalties which could be applied for mistakes Ms Van Stroe may have made,” Mr Pinto said.

Annette Morgan and Donovan Castelyn, the co-founders of CTC, noted that the unfortunate incident presented a learning opportunity for their students.

“CTC is happy to provide free assistance in situations like this as it aims to assist unrepresented taxpayers in meeting or complying with their tax affairs. In return the experiential learning opportunities for students who work under the supervision of experienced tax practitioners in these situations are most valuable,” Ms Moran and Mr Castelyn said.

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