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Tax agent fails before Full Federal Court to overturn Tax Practitioners Board termination

Tax agent fails before Full Federal Court to overturn Tax Practitioners Board termination  

Following six years of litigation, former tax agent, Mr Rudy Frugtniet, has failed in his bid to overturn the Tax Practitioners Board (TPB) termination of his registration in the Federal Court of Australia.

‘This is a welcome outcome given Mr Frugtniet’s dishonest conduct,’ TPB Chair, Mr Ian Klug AM, said.

‘Millions of Australians are clients of tax practitioners, and we are working to support the public by regulating practitioners to ensure they are providing services competently, and with honesty and integrity,’ he said.

‘We are aiming to level the playing field for honest and ethical tax practitioners, and want to see Australians benefit from better public services, a stronger economy and a better business environment.’ 

The TPB terminated Mr Frugtniet’s registration in January 2013 and precluded him from applying for registration for five years on the basis that he was no longer fit and proper. 

This decision was based on Mr Frugtniet’s lengthy history of misconduct, having been disqualified from legal practice, making false statements to a court and client, and failing to disclose such matters when he applied for registration as a tax agent. 

Mr Frugtniet has pursued legal action against the TPB since that time, with two Administrative Appeal Tribunal (AAT) reviews and three Federal Court appeals which finally culminated in this Full Federal Court decision. 

Mr Klug said the TPB celebrates the Federal Court’s decision to dismiss Mr Frugtniet’s appeal and award the TPB costs.

‘We recognise that litigation is an expensive and lengthy process, however, the TPB is committed to taking appropriate action to ensure just outcomes and to deter poor conduct,’ he said. 

‘In addition to law clarification, our litigation program supports these objectives.’ 

Ian Klug recently spoke to the Tax Institute Conference in Tasmania about the work of the TPB. The speech confirms TPB compliance action is focused on some 2000 high risk tax practitioners, including unregistered advisers.

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, Facebook and LinkedIn.

Thursday, November 14, 2019