23 August 2018
AAT affirms TPB decision to terminate tax agent’s registration
The Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT) has affirmed the decision of the Tax Practitioners Board (TPB) to terminate the tax agent registration of Mr Ranjit Dadwal, and impose a period of two years in which he cannot re-apply for registration. Mr Dadwal had been registered as an individual tax agent since March 2011.
Mr Dadwal was not considered to be a fit and proper person as required under the Tax Agent Services Act 2009 (TASA), given his criminal convictions and failure to disclose those convictions in his annual declaration to the TPB.
The AAT also noted Mr Dadwal’s reluctance to take responsibility for his lack of candour, honesty and integrity in his dealings with regulatory and professional bodies, including the police, Australian Taxation Office, CPA Australia and the TPB.
The AAT affirmed the TPB approach that even if a person's behaviour does not involve professional misconduct, it may still demonstrate qualities that would lead to a conclusion they are not a fit and proper person under the TASA.
The AAT found Mr Dadwal had engaged in serious criminal conduct which presented a risk to the reputation of the profession of registered tax agents. This was compounded by a pattern of non-disclosure and false and misleading statements to cover up and downplay the significance of his conduct.
Chair of the TPB, Mr Ian Taylor, welcomed the AAT decision.
‘It is useful to have the Tribunal affirm that the TPB may consider misconduct by a tax practitioner, whether personal or professional, to determine if they meet the ‘fitness and propriety’ test under the TASA,' Mr Taylor said.
‘Tax practitioners should also be aware the Board takes very seriously any false statements made by practitioners in their annual declarations to the Board, or in any interactions with other regulatory bodies.’
Mr Dadwal has until the 12 September 2018 to appeal the AAT decision.
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.