Using an unregistered agent is a big risk
If you use an unregistered tax or BAS agent you are taking big risks, as the agent you use:
- may not have the qualifications or experience required of a registered agent
- may not have appropriate professional indemnity insurance cover.
Additionally, if they are negligent you will not be protected under the safe harbour provisions set out in the Taxation Administration Act 1953.
Case study – Kate gets caught out
Kate saw a leaflet advertising tax services. The leaflet was distributed by Bob who claimed that he could obtain deductions of up to $3,000 for clients.
Kate used Bob to complete and lodge her tax return and paid him a fee for providing this service. Bob was not registered as a tax agent with the TPB.
When reviewing Kate’s tax return, the ATO found a number of errors and issued Kate with an amended assessment. Kate ended up having to pay additional tax and administrative penalties.
Following a complaint from Kate and other people who used Bob’s services, the Tax Practitioners Board (TPB) commenced proceedings against Bob in the Federal Court for advertising and providing tax agent services for a fee while unregistered. The Federal Court found that Bob had breached the Tax Agent Services Act 2009 and ordered him to pay a penalty of $32,000.
Look for the symbol or search the register
Make sure your agent is registered by:
- looking for the Registered agent symbol
- searching the TPB Register
Report an unregistered agent
If you know of someone providing tax agent or BAS services for a fee or other reward who is not registered, you can let us know by making a complaint to us.
Last modified: 26 June 2015