Taking action against unregistered service providers
Our unregistered service provider project promoted the importance of complying with the registration requirements under the Tax Agent Services Act 2009 (TASA) while creating a level playing field for all registered practitioners who do comply.
With strong support from the professional associations, in particular, the BAS agent associations, in April 2016, we commenced a project which identified almost 3,000 online advertisements of BAS services which warranted detailed analysis. Over 400 of these advertisements were recognised as requiring further scrutiny as they appeared to be advertising BAS services provided by an entity not registered with the Tax Practitioners Board (TPB).
Through our intervention, 246 advertisements have now been removed or amended to ensure they meet the requirements of the TASA. A number of previously non-compliant entities have now become registered with the TPB.
The removal of the advertisements has helped promote a level playing field for those that do the right thing and has provided a platform for the TPB to take compliance action against entities that continue to advertise or provide services in breach of the TASA.
There is an ongoing risk of unregistered service providers and we welcome referrals of complaints and evidence of such behaviour.
Depending on the level of risk, our approach to non-compliance ranges from educating unregistered providers to modify their behaviour, while more serious high-risk matters may be taken to the Federal Court. The Court may impose injunctions or pecuniary penalties. Examples of Court decisions regarding unregistered service providers include:
- $900,000 penalty for unregistered tax agents
- $81,500 penalty for providing and advertising tax agent services
Report unregistered practitioners
You can check tax practitioners are registered to provide the services they are offering by searching the TPB Register.
If you are aware of unregistered practitioner behaviour, report it to us via our complaints form.
Last modified: 25 May 2017