TPB issues warning to tax practitioners to ensure full disclosure
The Tax Practitioners Board has sent a warning to all practitioners after terminating the registration of a tax agent with $36 million in debt.
On 9 May 2019, the Tax Practitioners Board (TPB) terminated the registration of tax agent Peter Moltoni and banned him from re-applying for registration for the maximum five years.
This follows litigation in the Virgin Islands that linked Mr Moltoni to what appears to be a shell company holding US$21 million.
In August 2018, the Supreme Court of Western Australia dismissed an application by Mr Moltoni for a stay of recovery action by the deputy commissioner of taxation.
The TPB promptly investigated Mr Moltoni following an ATO audit, which resulted in amendments of over $33 million against him.
Mr Moltoni became bankrupt in October 2018 with debts exceeding $36 million.
In addition to these serious breaches, the TPB revealed that Mr Moltoni failed to disclose his adverse circumstances, in breach of his requirements under the Tax Agent Services Act 2009.
“Tax practitioners involved in offshore tax avoidance or evasion fail their legal and ethical responsibilities,” TPB chair Ian Klug said.
“They undermine public trust in honest tax advisers, and can expose themselves and their clients to significant penalties and potential criminal sanctions.”
He explained that the case is a call to action for those practitioners involved in tax avoidance or evasion schemes to review their circumstances and those of their clients, and ensure full disclosure to the TPB and to the ATO.
“Our combined efforts have resulted in an outcome which demonstrates our shared commitment to safeguard the ethics of the tax profession,” Mr Klug said.