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Is your tax agent naughty or nice?

Friday, December 20, 2019

Is your tax agent naughty or nice?

Christmas is a time for barbeques with friends and family get-togethers where not only presents are shared, but also financial tips and tax advice given freely. 

With new research indicating almost two-thirds of people source their tax agent through referrals from family and friends, the Tax Practitioners Board (TPB) today issued a reminder of the importance of using a registered tax practitioner to avoid the risk of receiving dodgy advice or having your refunds stolen. 

‘This time of year, at gatherings of family and friends, the conversation often turns to such things as who they use for tax advice,’ said Ian Klug, Chair of the TPB.

‘One tip we’d suggest is to make sure you are using a registered tax practitioner. They are required to meet industry standards and are covered by professional indemnity insurance, providing greater peace of mind to their clients.’

The recent research conducted on behalf of the TPB also indicated a very high level of trust in the tax profession with a Trust Index Score of 88 out of 100. 

However, the research also highlighted that nearly a quarter of individuals weren’t aware whether their agent was registered with the TPB, potentially exposing them to identity theft or tax bills from the Australian Taxation Office running into thousands of dollars. 

In a recent case of a scam involving an unregistered tax agent, a Sydney man posing as a legitimate tax agent charged over 1,000 of his clients $100 for his services, using myGov logins to submit tax returns and stealing many of their refunds. 

People can check the TPB Register to ensure your tax practitioner is registered.

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 Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn