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Millions in revenue recouped and asset risks reduced in strategy targeting agent obligations

Monday, June 3, 2019

Millions in revenue recouped and asset risks reduced in strategy targeting agent obligations

Chair of the Tax Practitioners Board (TPB), Mr Ian Klug AM, today welcomed progress in improving compliance by tax practitioners, with the latest figures showing millions of dollars in revenue have been recouped and retirement savings at risk reduced.

Last year, in collaboration with the Australian Taxation Office (ATO), the TPB commenced action on thousands of tax practitioners who had fallen behind in their own tax obligations. 

‘I’m pleased to see that many practitioners have responded, paying over $40 million in outstanding tax bills, and taking action with more than 6,000 late lodgements,’ Mr Klug said. 

‘Australians expect people like tax practitioners, who operate in positions of trust, to do the right thing.’ 

Mr Klug said the TPB has commenced 35 investigations into higher risk breaches, with a view to imposing sanctions, including termination of registration.

‘The message to tax practitioners is clear – you need to act now to ensure your personal tax obligations are up to date.’

ATO Assistant Commissioner, Ms Dana Fleming, noted this is especially important for tax practitioners who act as trustees for their own self-managed superannuation fund (SMSF).

‘This is particularly the case when some practitioners were found to be acting as trustees of their own SMSF, with collective outstanding returns of over a billion Australian dollars in superannuation retirement assets,’ Ms Fleming said. 

‘Over 1,000 SMSF late returns have now been lodged by tax agent trustees, disclosing total assets exceeding $500 million,’ she said. 

‘We continue to target tax practitioners who fail their legal and ethical responsibilities and the ATO is separately pursuing agent cases, including debt recovery litigation and prosecution actions.’ 

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