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Tax Practitioners Board reveals dramatic spike in compliance action during 2018–19

Tuesday, October 22, 2019

Tax Practitioners Board reveals dramatic spike in compliance action during 2018–19

Tax Practitioners Board (TPB) Chair, Ian Klug AM, has released the 2018-19 annual report, highlighting a significant change in senior management, and a dramatic spike in compliance action in the past 12 months.

‘During 2018-19 there have been changes to the composition of the Board, the appointment of a new CEO, and significant resetting of our strategic objectives,’ Mr Klug said.

‘As part of these changes, our compliance program had a dedicated focus on identifying and investigating those tax practitioners and unregistered agents posing the highest risks to the integrity of the profession and the tax system.’

Mr Klug said this focus delivered the following results (when compared to the previous year):

  • the number of total sanctions rose from 287 to 749 (161% increase)
  • the number of terminations increased from 24 to 74 (200% increase)
  • the number of written cautions increased from 182 to 540 (197% increase).

The year also saw increased collaboration between the TPB and other government agencies with a 63% increase in the number of referrals from the ATO to the TPB (196 compared to 120).

With the ATO, the TPB launched a joint strategy to address the outstanding personal tax obligations of almost 8,000 tax practitioners, reducing outstanding debt by around $37 million and securing over 6,600 lodgements. During this period the TPB also contributed to the Black Economy Taskforce, actioning 20 referrals from the ATO or other agencies for matters representing black economy behaviours.

Its proactive compliance program also saw the TPB auditing 1,288 tax practitioners, randomly selected for a review of their continuing professional education (CPE) responsibilities to ensure they maintain the knowledge and skills relevant to the services they provide the public.

‘Most registered tax practitioners take their role seriously in addressing their ongoing professional development, however, over 80 practitioners failed these requirements and were subject to cautions and sanctions,’ Mr Klug said.

‘The year ahead includes great opportunities for the TPB to improve its services to the public and practitioners by implementing Government reforms arising from the James Review and in our new joint compliance strategy with the ATO.

‘This collaboration has a focus on 2,000 higher risk tax advisers, who advise around 2.9 million clients.

‘We expect this compliance strategy will support honest practitioners, address tax system integrity and help reduce the tax gap.’

Read the TPB Annual Report 2018–19

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