Misconduct results in $70,000 penalty and termination of registration
The Federal Court has ordered Mr Tsu Chien Su of Sydney to pay a $70,000 penalty for committing 50 breaches of Tax Agent Services Act 2009 (TASA), which included recklessly making false statements to the Commissioner of Taxation, causing loss of revenue, and personal gain to the agent.
Following a finding by the Tax Practitioners Board (TPB) that Mr Su had knowingly breached the Code of Professional Conduct, the TPB terminated his registration as a tax agent in August 2013, imposing a period of three years before he could re-apply for registration. Mr Su has appealed this decision to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal.
Mr Su admitted to 50 contraventions of the TASA, with 25 of the 50 relating to false information in returns derived from false payment summaries, and the other 25 contraventions relating to the falsity of the tax agent certificate contained in each return.
This is the first time the Federal Court has imposed a pecuniary penalty on a registered agent for contraventions of the TASA. Among other considerations, in imposing the $70,000 penalty the Federal Court made allowances for the fact that Mr Su had admitted to the contraventions early in the process and had shown contrition.
“The Tax Practitioners Board takes seriously any conduct that calls into question an agent’s integrity and competence. The penalty imposed by the Federal Court should be seen as a deterrent to registered and unregistered agents alike. There are serious consequences for breaching the Tax Agent Services Act 2009 and the Code of Professional Conduct.” said Mr Ian Taylor, Chair of the TPB.
Anyone can make a complaint to the TPB if they feel a registered tax practitioner is not providing services to an appropriate standard, or if the person or entity they are dealing with is not registered, at www.tpb.gov.au/makeacomplaint
Further information 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.
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