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2 million checks on Tax Practitioner Register keep taxpayers safe

More tax practitioners and taxpayers were engaged with the Tax Practitioners Board (TPB) according to its latest 2020-21 Annual Report.

2 million checks on Tax Practitioner Register keep taxpayers safe
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  • Keeli Cambourne
  • October 20, 2021
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The latest results from the TPB’s biannual research indicated that 80 per cent of business owners are now aware of the TPB (an increase from 67.6 per cent in December 2020) and 57.7 per cent of taxpayers are also aware (up from 38.5 per cent in December 2020).

TPB chair, Ian Klug AM, said the report highlighted how the TPB took a measured and proportionate approach to supporting both tax practitioners and consumers during the COVID-19 pandemic and following the 2020 eastern Australia bushfires.

Mt Klug said nearly 80,000 registered tax practitioners supported their clients and upheld the integrity of the tax system over the past 12 months, as well as playing a major role in the implementation of government stimulus packages for the Australian community.

Mr Klug said he welcomed the government’s response to the independent review into the effectiveness of the TPB and the Tax Agent Services Act 2009, commenting that it was a “positive step forward for the future” especially the consideration of additional sanctions and further financial independence. 

The report, tabled in Federal Parliament on Tuesday (19 October), found that TPB register searches exceeded 2 million for the first time, the board conduct committee reviewed 170 cases of practitioners’ potential misconduct (75 of which resulted in termination of the tax practitioners’ registration) and staff answered over 20,000 emails and letters, and over 29,000 telephone inquiries to support tax practitioners.

Attendance at TPB webinars increased threefold during the year, with more than 61,000 attending webinars in 2020-21 compared to 17,000 in 2019-20.

The growth in use of the TPB register mirrors an increase in consumer and business awareness of the TPB.

Mr Klug looked forward to 2021-22 including an increased focus on unregistered preparers based on a strategy developed last year.

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