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TPB begins new FY investigating 350 ‘high-risk’ tax practitioners

The Tax Practitioners Board (TPB) has announced it is currently investigating more than 350 tax practitioners who are suspected of high-risk behaviour.

TPB begins new FY investigating 350 ‘high-risk’ tax practitioners
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  • Maja Garaca Djurdjevic
  • July 16, 2019
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The TPB has kicked of the 2019-20 financial year by investigating over 350 tax practitioners suspected of various misconducts including failure to meet personal tax obligations; over-claiming work-related expenses on behalf of clients; egregious conduct; non-lodgement of annual declarations; and non-compliance with continuing professional education (CPE) requirements.

A number of these cases were as a result of referrals from the Australian Taxation Office (ATO).

TPB CEO Michael O’Neill, said the TPB handed down heavy sanctions for some of the cases it considered in June.

"Of eight cases investigated under the debt and lodgement project, five tax practitioners had their registrations terminated for failure to meet personal tax obligations, four of these with a five-year exclusion period," he said.

"And of the eight investigations into non-compliance with CPE requirements, five tax practitioners were issued with suspensions, three with cautions and all eight ordered to complete additional hours of CPE."

Furthermore, six tax practitioners were also recently suspended for three months for the failure to lodge their annual declarations.

Due to multiple investigations carried out into high-risk behaviours, the TPB has recently imposed a range of penalties on tax practitioners, including:

  • a five-year registration termination for failing to disclose approximately $1 million in tax debt and overdue lodgement for more than 30 companies;
  • a five-year registration termination for fraudulently lodging income tax returns for several clients;
  • a five-year registration termination for not providing evidence of professional indemnity (PI) insurance coverage since 2017; and
  • a one-year suspension due to investigations indicating the tax practitioner had engaged in conduct that suggested personal spending on cars, holidays and dining expenses over the repayment of tax obligations.
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