Individual Tax Agent | Terminated
2 Riverside Quay
Southbank Victoria 3006
Registration expiry date
Reason: 40-25 Period during which you may not apply for registration
Reason: 30-30 Failure to comply with Code of Professional Conduct[POPUP_FOR_DETAILS]
- 30-10(1) - You must act honestly and with integrity
- 30-10(5) - You must have in place adequate arrangements for the management of conflicts of interest that may arise in relation to the activities that you undertake in the capacity of a registered tax agent or BAS agent
Explanation: On 16 November 2022, after completing an investigation, the Tax Practitioners Board (the TPB) decided to terminate the tax agent registration of Peter-John Collins. The TPB found that Mr Collins had breached subsections 30-10(1) and 30-10(5) of the Code of Professional Conduct (the Code) in the Tax Agent Services Act 2009 (TASA). The TPB also imposed a period of two (2) years during which Mr Collins cannot apply for registration.
The TPB found that Mr Collins breached subsection 30-10(1) of the Code, in that he did not act with integrity as follows:
1. In relation to his engagement by Treasury:
a. Mr Collins received confidential information and documentation during the course of his participation in consultations with Treasury (as a member of the Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (BEPS) Tax Advisory Group and on legislation and policy positions intended to give effect to the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) BEPS provisions, including the Multinational Anti-Avoidance Law (MAAL), the Diverted Profits Tax (DPT) and Hybrid mismatch rules).
b. The confidential information was subject to Commonwealth Confidentiality Acknowledgements (CA) signed by Mr Collins on 11 December 2013, 15 April 2016 and 19 February 2018 and which specified that the information and related documents were provided on a confidential basis and could not be disclosed to another person without the prior approval of the Commonwealth.
c. Without the prior approval of the Commonwealth, Mr Collins shared confidential information and documentation, which he obtained from these Treasury consultations, within PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) with other PwC personnel as well as with overseas PwC partners, who, at the relevant time of disclosure, were not authorised to receive such information by Treasury and had not signed the requisite CAs with Treasury.
2. In relation to his engagement by the Board of Taxation:
a. Mr Collins received confidential information and documentation during the course of his participation in consultations facilitated by the Board of Taxation on potential legislation and policy positions intended to give effect to the OECD BEPS and anti-hybrids provisions.
b. Confidential information and documentation received by Mr Collins contained disclaimers that the documents were subject to obligations requiring that the information and related documents were provided on a confidential basis and could not be disclosed to another person without the prior approval of the Board of Taxation.
c. Without the prior approval of the Board of Taxation, Mr Collins shared confidential information and documentation, which he obtained from these Board of Taxation consultations, within PwC with other PwC personnel, who, at the relevant time of disclosure, were not authorised to receive such information by the Board of Taxation.
The TPB found that Mr Collins had breached subsection 30-10(5) of the Code, in that he failed to have in place adequate arrangements to manage conflicts of interest that arose in relation to his activities as a registered tax agent in the following circumstances:
1. He was engaged by Treasury, in confidential consultations on proposed Australian tax legislation and policy positions intended to give effect to the OECD BEPS provisions, including the MAAL, DPT and Hybrid mismatch rules.
2. At the time of these consultations, he was a partner and a nominated supervising registered tax agent for PwC.
3. As a result of these consultations, he was privy to confidential information including how the proposed legislation and policy might impact the tax position of PwC’s existing clients as well as potential clients. This put Mr Collins in a position of conflict due to the potential market advantage of having knowledge of this confidential information and the fact that it could be utilised to advance the position of PwC’s existing taxation clients as well as marketing its services to attract new clients.
4. Additionally, internal communications within PwC indicated that Mr Collins was aware that the confidential knowledge he gained from the consultations with Treasury would be leveraged to market PwC to a new client base.
5. Despite the existence of signed CAs by Mr Collins specifying that the information he acquired could not be shared without prior approval from Treasury and the communications from Treasury being clear that the information was being disclosed on a confidential basis, some of the confidential information was disclosed by Mr Collins with other PwC personnel who, in turn, disclosed to clients or potential clients of PwC. Those personnel, clients and potential clients had not been authorised to receive the information and had not signed CAs.
6. In the circumstances, Mr Collins would have, or should have been, aware of the perceived and actual conflict of interest that existed in relation to his duties and activities as a tax agent and he failed to ensure that there were adequate arrangements in place to manage these conflicts.
In consideration of the seriousness of Mr Collins’ conduct, the Board determined that:
a. Mr Collins tax agent registration should be terminated in accordance with section 30-30 of the TASA
b. Mr Collins be prohibited from applying for registration in accordance with subsection 40-25(1) of the TASA for a period of two (2) years from the date the termination of his registration takes effect.
The Tax Institute *
* Professional association information has been provided by the registered tax practitioner. Users of the Register are encouraged to make their own independent enquiries to verify this information (for example, you may wish to contact the listed association(s)).