AAT affirms TPB decision
On 26 July 2019, the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT) affirmed a Tax Practitioners Board (TPB) decision to terminate Mr Immanuel Shmuel’s tax agent registration and impose a period of 12 months during which he could not re-apply for registration. His registration was terminated as he failed to meet the fit and proper person requirements under the Tax Agent Services Act 2009 (TASA).
Mr Shmuel had failed to comply with his personal tax obligations, made false and misleading statements in his Annual Declaration to the Board and failed to respond to a Board request in a timely, responsible and reasonable matter as required by the Code of Professional Conduct (Code).
In determining that Mr Shmuel was not a fit and proper person, the Board also took into consideration the fact that he had not notified the Board of his bankruptcy notice (following outstanding tax liabilities in excess of $109,000) and guilty plea to a criminal charge involving dishonesty under the Criminal Code of the Commonwealth.
The AAT’s decision affirmed that as a tax agent, Mr Shmuel was expected to uphold a higher standard of care than the general public in relation to his personal tax obligations. Tax practitioners have an advanced knowledge of tax laws and it is reasonable to assume they understand the importance of lodging tax returns on time.
The AAT decision provides a clear message that a tax practitioner’s non-compliance with their personal tax obligations is sufficiently serious on its own to justify a failure to meet the fit and proper person requirement. This failure raises serious doubt about the practitioner’s capacity to competently handle other people’s tax affairs. The decision also validates our current compliance work on debt and lodgement and confirms that misleading the Board is a very serious matter.
Mr Shmuel has until 20 August 2019 to appeal the AAT decision.
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Last modified: 7 August 2019