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TPB targets fraudulent BAS activity and bans three agents for five years

Thursday, September 12, 2019

TPB targets fraudulent BAS activity and bans three agents for five years

Three registered tax practitioners have been investigated for fraudulent BAS activity by the Tax Practitioners Board (TPB) and in each case their registration has been terminated for five years.

In August the TPB investigated a BAS agent and found they had breached the Code of Professional Conduct (Code) when they failed to:

  • act honestly and with integrity by falsifying suppliers’ records (invoices) and personal bank statements
  • lodge a personal income tax return and quarterly activity statements by their respective due dates and pay a tax liability to the Australian Taxation Office
  • advise the Board they had become an undischarged bankrupt.

In June the TPB investigated a tax agent who allegedly lodged fraudulent BAS and failed to pay outstanding tax liabilities amounting to $1.6 million. The agent breached the Code by:

  • lodging false BAS for clients to generate a GST refund to which they were not entitled
  • altering clients’ financial details to receive their refunds into the agent's personal account 
  • failing to pay an outstanding tax liability for themselves and for 24 related entities 
  • being subject to legal recovery action.

In July the TPB found that a registered BAS agent ceased to meet the tax practitioner registration requirement to be a fit and proper person because:

  • they provided false information to the Board in their annual declaration
  • they did not demonstrate sufficient competence in the lodgement of BAS under their personal ABN
  • they supplied a statement of relevant experience (SRE) purporting to be signed by their employer.

TPB Chair, Mr Ian Klug AM, said these three recent cases highlight the scrutiny that tax practitioners must be prepared to undergo in meeting the stringent requirements of registration.

‘Tax practitioners who are involved in fraudulent activities of this kind undermine public trust in honest tax advisers,’ he said. ‘Where we see criminality, we’ll also refer to the authorities for investigation and possible prosecution.’

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