Court orders stop Hacker from providing tax services
On Friday 1 March, before Justice Rangiah of the Federal Court of Australia, Mr Kent Scott Hacker of Stafford, Brisbane, undertook to not provide tax services illegally in response to an application brought by the Tax Practitioners Board (TPB).
The TPB alleged that Mr Hacker was acting unlawfully, charging fees whilst unregistered and failing his clients by claiming false and inflated tax deductions of thousands of dollars.
Mr Hacker’s undertaking to the Federal Court means he cannot provide tax agent services or BAS services to clients for a fee.
CEO of the TPB, Mr Michael O’Neill, said unregistered advisers put their clients at risk by offering poor tax services, lodging false tax statements and potentially exposing them to thousands in taxes and penalties.
He urged taxpayers, if they are seeking tax advice, to engage a tax professional registered with the TPB by checking the TPB register.
‘Over the past six months the TPB has reviewed 75 cases of complaints about unregistered tax advisers who are failing to provide legal and ethical advice to their clients,’ Mr O’Neill said.
‘Clients who are already caught up with an unregistered adviser should urgently review their affairs, and if required, contact the ATO.’
Taxpayers seeking help from the ATO to correct and amend their affairs can contact the ATO. Penalty reductions may be available for any taxpayer making voluntary disclosures to the ATO.
The litigation against Mr Hacker continues, and his undertaking will remain in place until the TPB’s application for penalties and final injunction is heard.
Court awarded penalties for breaching tax agent services laws can be as high as $52,500 for each offence by an individual, and $262,500 for a company.
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.