Issued: 28 June 2022
Last modified: 28 June 2022
A recent survey conducted by the Tax Practitioners Board (TPB) in the lead up to tax time, indicated that consumers place an exceptionally high level of confidence in their registered tax practitioner. The results showed 89% of consumers have trust in the tax practitioner and 66% of consumers rate the experience they receive from their tax practitioner as excellent.
While this is great news for both the tax profession and taxpayers, the TPB is warning the public to be extra vigilant of scams aiming to lure unsuspecting honest consumers into using the tax services of unregistered preparers.
Unregistered preparers operate outside of the law, often making money by skimming a portion of their clients’ refunds and charging inflated fees for return preparation services. They attract new clients by promising large refunds. Some will encourage filing fraudulent claims for refunds on items that their clients aren’t entitled to, while others will obtain myGov sign in details from clients, putting their personal information at risk.
TPB Chair, Ian Klug AM, warned, ‘Since the clear majority of tax practitioners act in the best interests of their clients and earn their trust, unregistered preparers can take advantage of uninformed consumers. We’ve put together a list of tips for taxpayers to follow this tax time to make sure they don’t become victims of bad advice. If you see a tax practitioner making unexpected promises or an unregistered preparer offering tax services, it pays to be alert and a bit sceptical.’
In a recent case investigated by the TPB an unregistered preparer, Jessa Van Stroe (also called Jessa Layola) was banned by the Federal Court from charging clients a fee or receiving a reward to lodge their income tax returns. During the 2020–21 tax season, Ms Stroe illegally prepared thousands of tax returns leaving her clients exposed to penalties and unpaid taxes which they would be liable to repay.
Tips for taxpayers: Tax Time 2022
Check out the TPB’s handy online guide.
Check your tax practitioner is registered on the public register. Only registered tax practitioners can charge a fee for tax agent services.
Be sceptical if an agent offers to secure you unexpected or unexplained payments.
Never share your myGov password with anyone, even your registered tax agent - doing so puts your personal information at risk.
You should not allow anyone else to lodge or prepare your tax return through your myGov account.
About the Tax Practitioners Board
The TPB 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.