The TPB’s compliance work for the 2017-18 period resulted in a total number of 287 sanctions, including 24 terminations, up from 17 last year.
According to the TPB’s annual report, the sanctions included 81 impositions of order and 182 written cautions.
Of the cases reviewed under the Tax Agent Services Act, there were increases in a number of cases for Code item 2, compliance with taxation laws in the conduct of personal affairs; Code item 14, failure to respond to requests and directions from the board; and Code item 7, tax agent services being provided competently.
“As a result of the increased ATO attention to work-related expenses, there was also a noticeable increase in the number of cases which related to subsection 30-10(7) (tax agent services are provided competently),” the TPB report said.
“The number of terminations increased in comparison to the result in 2016-17. However, in contrast to 2016-17, in 2017-18 the large majority of termination decisions were as a result of investigations into practitioner conduct rather than issues associated with the annual declaration process.”
TPB chair Ian Taylor said the results showed that the board was committed to stamping out non-compliant behaviour.
“The annual report released today confirms the TPB’s firm action against non-compliance with the Tax Agent Services Act 2009, Code of Professional Conduct and breaches of the civil penalty provisions,” said Mr Taylor.
“Where the TPB suspects non-compliance, we may refer matters to the Federal Court. Last year, the Administrative Appeals Tribunal and the Federal Court affirmed seven TPB decisions on matters related to practitioner compliance with the Code of Professional Conduct and the Fit and Proper requirements.
“Looking to the future, the TPB and the tax profession face challenges with a rapidly changing tax environment, new technology and risks associated with the black economy and the over-claiming of work-related expenses.”