$81,500 penalty for providing and advertising tax agent services
The Federal Court of Australia has ordered Ms Lorraine Amede of Brisbane and her company, Lamede Group Pty Ltd, to pay $81,500 in penalties for unlawfully providing and advertising tax agent services.
Between 2010 and 2013, Ms Amede and her company contravened the Tax Agent Services Act 2009 by providing tax agent services for a fee 51 times, as well as advertising tax agent services.
Ms Amede was registered with the Tax Practitioners Board (TPB) as a BAS agent, however neither Ms Amede nor the company were registered as a tax agent in order to provide and advertise the tax agent services, which included preparing and lodging income tax returns and amendment requests.
In determining the appropriate penalty, Justice Dowsett stated that ‘these offences occurred over an extended period of time’ and that ‘there was always the risk of adverse consequences to clients. It seems that some clients suffered actual loss as the result of inadequacy in the services provided.'
Chair of the TPB, Ian Taylor, reminded anyone using a tax agent, BAS agent or tax (financial) adviser to check they are registered to provide the services they are offering.
‘Registration with the TPB gives consumers the confidence that a tax practitioner has the appropriate qualifications and experience to provide the expert advice consumers pay for,’ Mr Taylor said.
Anyone seeking the services of a tax agent to prepare and lodge their tax returns should first check that the person is registered with the TPB to provide those services at www.tpb.gov.au/onlineregister
About the Tax Practitioners Board
The Tax Practitioners Board 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.