AAT review affirms TPB decision on tax agent
The decision of the Tax Practitioners Board (TPB) to terminate the tax agent registration of a Gold Coast practitioner and an associated entity, on the grounds that the practitioner ceased to be a ‘fit and proper person’, have been affirmed by the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT).
The AAT was not satisfied that Mr Gregory Brown of GJ Brown & Co Pty Ltd was a fit and proper person given his repeated failures to comply with the tax laws in both his personal and director’s capacities over a lengthy period, delays in addressing that non-compliance, and the fact that some of the non-compliance issues remained unresolved.
The Tax Agent Services Act 2009 (TASA) requires that the TPB be satisfied that an individual is a fit and proper person and that each director of a company is a fit and proper person before granting registration to the company. Once the company is registered, all company directors must remain fit and proper persons.
The non-compliance acknowledged by the AAT included failures to lodge income tax returns and business activity statements by the relevant due dates, and failures to pay tax liabilities as and when they fell due. Mr Brown had been consequently convicted of six tax offences for failing to lodge, and had also subsequently failed to comply with Court orders requiring rectification of the non-compliance.
The AAT noted that the TPB had previously formally cautioned GJ Brown & Co Pty Ltd for breaching the TASA by failing to lodge income tax returns and business activity statements by the relevant due dates.
Chair of the TPB, Mr Ian Taylor, commented:
‘The TPB must act to protect the public and to maintain the integrity of, and trust in, the profession. Whilst the TPB recognises that practitioners may be affected by personal and/or practice issues and will work with them to ensure their compliance with the tax laws, where there is evidence of repeated misconduct we will take strong action, including termination of registration.’
About the Tax Practitioners Board:
The Tax Practitioners Board regulates tax practitioners, and aims to assure the community that tax practitioners meet appropriate standards of professional and ethical conduct.