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Tax agents terminated after showing blatant disregard for their tax affairs

Tax agents terminated after showing blatant disregard for their tax affairs

Two decisions made by the Tax Practitioners Board (TPB) to terminate tax agent registrations, for failing to comply with their tax affairs, have been upheld by the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT).

The AAT supported the TPB’s decision to terminate the tax agent registration of Grant Tomkinson, with a ban from re-applying for 18-months. The AAT confirmed he is not fit to be registered as a tax agent due to his repeated non-compliance with his tax affairs over several years. Tomkinson breached multiple items of the Code of Professional Conduct by failing to lodge his business activity statements on multiple occasions and individual tax returns over a two-year period. He also failed to lodge six quarterly superannuation guarantee charge statements and defaulted on numerous payment arrangements. This non-compliance was referred to the TPB by the Australian Taxation Office.
 
The AAT also supported the TPB’s decision to terminate the tax agent registration of Grant McCarthy who failed to comply with his tax affairs. At the time of the TPB’s decision Mr McCarthy failed to pay, or enter into a payment arrangement, for tax debts totalling nearly $600,000. During the course of the investigation Mr McCarthy had entered into payment arrangements but had defaulted.

The AAT commented that both tax practitioners had downplayed the seriousness of their conduct as part of their appeals.

Speaking about the outcomes, Chair of the TPB, Mr Ian Klug AM remarked; ’These decisions clearly demonstrate that a failure to attend to your tax affairs can call into question if a registered tax practitioner continues to show the right attributes, such as honesty and integrity, to be registered as a tax practitioner.’ 

‘Registered tax practitioners are not only entrusted to manage the tax affairs of their clients, but they are also taxpayers in their own right. It is important they lead the way by ensuring they comply with their tax obligations in line with both community expectations and tax laws.’

‘Both McCarthy and Tomkinson showed cavalier behaviour in their pattern of conduct in respect to paying assessments on time and fulfilling their tax obligations. In doing so they failed to realise the severity of their actions.’

The TPB urges you to get in touch if you know of a tax practitioner who is not lodging their tax returns.

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.

Tuesday, August 24, 2021