Issued: 6 September 2023
Last modified: 6 September 2023
Tax agent Isaac Brown, from Victoria has had his registration terminated after lodging false business activity statements (BAS) totalling millions of dollars. The termination also includes the maximum 5-year ban from re-applying as a tax practitioner.
Investigations revealed Mr Brown, operating as Ausred Accounting, had breached 5 items of the Code of Professional Conduct (Code), that all registered tax practitioners must abide by. He lodged false BAS without the knowledge or authorisation of more than 15 clients. This resulted in the Australian Taxation Office cancelling the lodgements to prevent over $3.75 million of BAS credits being paid, when they discovered the entities were not carrying on an enterprise for GST purposes.
Mr Brown subsequently misappropriated client refunds by nominating them to be paid into his own bank account, or the bank account of another individual who was not entitled to the returns. In an attempt to cover his ruse, Mr Brown fabricated engagement letters on behalf of 2 clients that he provided to the Board.
Mr Brown’s unacceptable behaviour was especially distressing for clients as he put them at risk when he shared his personal MyGovID credentials with another individual. This allowed unsupervised access to confidential taxpayer information and left the clients open to their information being used fraudulently.
In addition, Mr Brown failed to lodge multiple BAS by their due dates for a company he is a director of. He failed to meet 2 ongoing registration requirements, when he ceased to hold professional indemnity insurance and did not complete the compulsory annual minimum continuing professional education requirements.
Commenting on the case, Chair of the TPB, Mr Peter de Cure AM, said, ‘Mr Brown acted dishonestly and facilitated the misappropriation of tax refunds that he received through the lodgement of false and misleading BAS. This behaviour is inexcusable, and we have terminated Mr Brown’s registration to safeguard taxpayers and community confidence in the integrity of the tax system and profession.'
Mr de Cure went on to say, ‘Our new expanded compliance program, announced by Government late last year, has given the TPB much needed resources to proactively target these high-risk tax practitioners, to address misconduct and to minimise harm and loss of revenue. We will continue to work with our co-regulators targeting these higher-risk tax practitioners to stamp out non-compliance.’
To report a dishonest tax practitioner, submit a complaint with the TPB.
About the Tax Practitioners Board
The TPB regulates tax practitioners in order to protect consumers. The TPB aims to assure the community that tax practitioners meet appropriate standards of professional and ethical conduct. Follow us on Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook.
Wednesday, 6 September 2023