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TPB and ATO act swiftly on complaints about alleged theft of tax refunds

Thursday, January 17, 2019

TPB and ATO act swiftly on complaints about alleged theft of tax refunds

A joint investigation launched by the Tax Practitioners Board (TPB) and the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) has resulted in the termination of two registered tax agents, QTR Accountants Pty Ltd and Nicoh Group Pty Ltd.

After receiving 19 consumer complaints that the registered tax agents, who offered their services online, had not passed on 2017-18 tax refunds to their clients, the TPB initiated an urgent investigation into the conduct of the tax practitioners.

During the investigation the TPB received more than 200 additional consumer complaints from a range of sources, supporting the decision to terminate the agents' registration.

Chair of the TPB, Mr Ian Taylor, said this type of behaviour by registered tax agents would not be tolerated.

'Tax practitioners must meet strict standards of fitness and propriety to register with the TPB, and we expect that they will continue to meet these standards,' Mr Taylor said.

'It is extremely disappointing that registered tax practitioners showed such disregard for the professional and ethical standards we aim to uphold'.

Mr Taylor said this case is indicative of the investigative work the TPB is currently undertaking to ensure the profession is appropriately regulated.

'We have been working to protect clients of tax services by investigating tax practitioners who are reckless with their client's tax affairs and we will continue to investigate and address all categories of serious misconduct.'

Mr Taylor said the matter is being pursued by the Western Australia Police Force.

Anyone who has been affected by the possible theft of tax refunds from an online tax service provider is encouraged to:

  • submit a complaint to the Tax Practitioners Board
  • contact the Australian Cybercrime Online Reporting Network (www.acorn.gov.au).

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.