Issued: 13 December 2021
Last modified: 13 December 2021
During another challenging year impacted by the pandemic, we thank you for your invaluable support to your clients. You have upheld the integrity of the tax system while also implementing the government stimulus measures to assist the Australian community.
We are also proud of how we supported you this year through the pandemic as we continued to provide advice, guidance and flexibility to ensure you were able to provide quality taxation services and maintain the high levels of trust placed in you by your clients.
No doubt you have appreciated all the support that we could give you throughout a year where you juggled both personal and professional challenges. So you could focus on your clients, we supported you by amending registration requirements, easing reporting and education obligations and extending our COVID-19 concessions to help you meet your commitments. This included waiving the requirement to complete annual declarations for around 44,000 tax practitioners.
We also supported you by providing advice and guidance on our website, through eNews and as part of our webinar and speaking events programs so you could effortlessly implement the Australian Government’s COVID-19 stimulus measures – cash flow boosts, the JobKeeper Payment, the various state and territory stimulus measures and the early release of superannuation program – at a time when Australian businesses and families needed it most.
We maintained our compliance programs to ensure you were on a level playing field and helped to ensure that the integrity of the stimulus packages were upheld, by investigating allegations of tax practitioners taking unlawful advantage of the measures. In total, we reviewed over 440 matters relating to the COVID-19 stimulus measures, through Australian Taxation Office referrals as well as public complaints and enquiries.
In addition, we provided resources to help you supervise and support your staff to work safely from home and continued to offer you free continuing professional education opportunities throughout the year. Importantly, we offered our first mental health support webinar in October in conjunction with Beyond Blue.
We also worked hard in other areas to provide support in our business-as-usual activities.
Some other key highlights of 2021 include the following:
our register searches exceeded 2 million for the first time
we answered over 20,000 emails and letters, and over 29,000 phone enquiries
75 tax practitioners were terminated by our Board Conduct Committee for breaches of the Tax Agent Services Act 2009, thereby levelling the playing field and raising the already high standards of the profession
our average webinar attendance rate increased by 286% with over 61,000 tax practitioners attending and receiving free continuing professional education.
As we all continue to grapple with the ongoing implications of the COVID-19 pandemic, we will continue to ensure you are supported to provide quality and ethical taxation services to your clients. We congratulate you for the endurance you displayed throughout 2021 and thank you for your ongoing dedication to your clients, of the tax profession, and of the integrity of the tax system. We are excited about what 2022 will bring and look forward to continuing our work in partnership with each other in the new year.