Investigation leads to unregistered agent arrest
We have recently been working closely with the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) and police to investigate an unregistered tax agent services provider. The investigation led to an arrest following complaints received from taxpayers that were referred to us in December 2018.
During our investigation, and through evidence provided by the police and the ATO, we discovered that the unregistered preparer targeted the backpacker community.
Unsuspecting clients provided their MyGov details, and subsequently discovered their refunds were paid directly into the unregistered preparer’s bank account. In many cases, the work-related expenses reported by the clients were significantly overstated.
The joint investigation demonstrates the advantages of collaboration between agencies when dealing with unregistered preparers. The recent arrest highlights that when information is shared between relevant agencies the protection of consumers of tax services is the result.
This case highlights how important it is for taxpayers to ensure their tax agent is registered with the TPB. It also acts as a caution and reminder to consumers to ensure they protect their myGov details.
Tax time tips
- Check your tax practitioner is registered on the TPB register.
- Never share your myGov password with anyone - doing so puts your personal information at risk.
- You should not be charged by anyone to lodge or prepare your tax return through your myGov.
Last modified: 6 August 2019