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TPB secures undertaking from unregistered agent

The Tax Practitioners Board has secured an undertaking against an unregistered agent, preventing him from providing tax or BAS services for a fee.

Business Jotham Lian 07 March 2019
— 1 minute read

Brisbane man Kent Hacker appeared before the Federal Court to accept an undertaking to not provide tax services illegally in response to an application brought by the TPB.

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The TPB alleged that Mr Hacker was acting unlawfully, charging fees while unregistered and failing his clients by claiming false and inflated tax deductions of thousands of dollars.

Mr Hacker’s undertaking to the Federal Court means he cannot provide tax agent services or BAS services to clients for a fee.

TPB chief executive Michael O’Neill said the TPB has been reviewing an influx of complaints against unregistered tax agents.

“Over the past six months the TPB has reviewed 75 cases of complaints about unregistered tax advisers who are failing to provide legal and ethical advice to their clients,” Mr O’Neill said.

“Clients who are already caught up with an unregistered adviser should urgently review their affairs, and if required, contact the ATO.”

The litigation against Mr Hacker continues, and his undertaking will remain in place until the TPB’s application for penalties and final injunction is heard.

Court awarded penalties for breaching tax agent services laws can be as high as $52,500 for each offence by an individual, and $262,500 for a company.

The ATO have previously told agents to call out dodgy competitors who were eating up market share by promoting ineligible deductions and placing pressure on good tax agents.

“They are the ones who are gaining an unfair advantage and by doing so are increasing their market share unfairly and in this group we are seeing intentional and sustained misreporting, usually through making false deductions claims and they are generally unresponsive to our initial interventions,” said ATO Assistant Commissioner Adam Kendrick.

“We encourage practitioners to refer fellow practitioners or their clients to us and we assess everything that comes through and to be honest, some of the best intel actually comes from agents.”

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TPB secures undertaking from unregistered agent
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