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Bankrupt tax agent with $36 million debt has registration terminated by Tax Practitioners Board

Wednesday, June 12, 2019

Bankrupt tax agent with $36 million debt has registration terminated by Tax Practitioners Board

On 9 May 2019, the Tax Practitioners Board (TPB) terminated the registration of tax agent, Mr Peter Moltoni, and banned him from re-applying for registration for the maximum five years.

This follows litigation in the Virgin Islands which linked Mr Moltoni to what appears to be a shell company holding US $21 million. In August 2018 the Supreme Court of Western Australia dismissed an application by Mr Moltoni for a stay of recovery action by the Deputy Commissioner of Taxation.

The TPB promptly investigated Mr Moltoni following an ATO audit which resulted in amendments of over $33 million against him.

Mr Moltoni became bankrupt in October 2018 with debts exceeding $36 million.

In addition to these serious breaches, Mr Moltoni failed to disclose to the Board his adverse circumstances, in breach of his requirements under the Tax Agent Services Act 2009.

TPB Chair, Mr Ian Klug AM, noted that this extreme case demonstrates the benefit to the community when the Board works collaboratively with relevant agencies and regulators.

‘Tax practitioners involved in offshore tax avoidance or evasion fail their legal and ethical responsibilities,’ Mr Klug said.

‘They undermine public trust in honest tax advisers, and can expose themselves and their clients to significant penalties and potential criminal sanctions.

‘This case is also a call to action, for those practitioners involved in tax avoidance or evasion schemes to review their circumstances and those of their clients, and ensure full disclosure to the TPB and to the ATO,’ he said.

‘Our combined efforts have resulted in an outcome which demonstrates our shared commitment to safeguard the ethics of the tax profession.’

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. Follow us on Twitter @TPB_gov_au and LinkedIn