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Federal Court orders $64,500 penalty to unregistered NSW tax agent

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Federal Court orders $64,500 penalty to unregistered NSW tax agent

The Federal Court, Sydney, this week ordered Malcolm Campbell to pay a penalty of $64,500 for breaches of the Tax Agent Services Act 2009 (TASA). On 27 August 2012, the Court found that Mr Campbell had been preparing income tax returns and requests for amendments to prior year’s returns for people when he was not a registered tax agent.

Mr Campbell was not present in court when he was ordered to pay the $64,500 penalty. The Court also ordered that Mr Campbell pay the Tax Practitioner Board’s (TPB) costs and made an order that Mr Campbell, for a period of three years, must advise people that he is not a registered tax agent and cannot charge a fee for his work prior to providing tax agent services.

Mr Campbell worked from an address in Regents Park and more recently in the Young area of New South Wales. Many of the people who used Mr Campbell’s services had been penalised by the Australian Tax Office for incorrect tax returns and incurred large tax bills because of his actions. 

Dale Boucher, Chair of the TPB said this decision sends a clear and unmistakable message that to do tax work for a fee, you must be registered with the TPB. “This is the second civil penalty case we have successfully brought to the court against an unregistered tax agent. The court’s findings reinforce the important role of the TPB in protecting consumers from unregistered tax and BAS agents.” 

“The TPB is committed to identifying unregistered tax agent behaviour and taking appropriate action to protect the taxpayer community.” Mr Boucher said. 

If people are paying fees for a tax agent or BAS service, including preparing and lodging tax returns, they should check that their agent is registered at www.tpb.gov.au

Complaints to the TPB can be made if tax agent or BAS services are not provided to an appropriate professional or ethical standard, or if the person providing those services is not registered.

About Tax Practitioners Board
The Tax Practitioners Board was established on the 1 March 2010 to protect consumers by regulating tax agents and BAS agents and those who should register with the Board.
Further information can be found at www.tpb.gov.au.