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TPB terminates tax agent registrations for overclaiming expenses

Wednesday, April 10, 2019

TPB terminates tax agent registrations for overclaiming expenses

The tax agent registrations of Wollongong tax agents, DW & AR McNeice and David Warren McNeice, have been terminated by the Tax Practitioners Board (TPB) for overclaiming expenses on behalf of their clients.

Mr McNeice was a partner and the supervising tax agent for the partnership DW & AR McNeice.

The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) identified Mr McNeice's behaviour through their compliance activities and conveyed its concerns to the TPB for further action.

The TPB found that the partnership breached the Code of Professional Conduct that applies to all registered tax agents by failing to provide tax agent services competently.

This includes showing intentional disregard to taxation laws and advice by the ATO and repeatedly making claims for his clients without substantiation or merit.

Adverse comments were made by the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT) against Mr McNeice in several appeals that DW & AR McNeice had lodged on behalf of its clients between 2010 and 2014.

The AAT proceedings related largely to overclaimed expenses. In thoroughly investigating the matter, the TPB found that Mr McNeice's advice to clients resulted in claims that were subsequently disallowed, including:

  • personal training and school fees claimed as training and conference expenses
  • personal training sessions claimed by a sales agent
  • depreciation on a household fridge claimed by a plumber
  • claiming family pets as guard dogs
  • claiming food purchases as staff and client amenities.

TPB CEO, Mr Michael O'Neill, said Mr McNiece's conduct does not accord with the TPB's view of what constitutes a fit and proper person.

He said the decision is consistent with the TPB's role in protecting consumers and maintaining the integrity of the registered tax practitioner profession. Accordingly, Mr McNeice has been prohibited from reapplying for registration for five years.

'Tax practitioners must undertake their role truthfully, accurately and competently to uphold the integrity of the profession and what is ultimately best for taxpayers and the overall integrity of the tax and super systems,' Mr O'Neill said.

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.

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