In April, the TPB announced the launch of a 72-hour complaint resolution process that would have seen the TPB assess complaints from a client of a tax practitioner, determine if it was suitable to be referred back to the practitioner, before then directing the practitioner to resolve the complaint within three business days.
The new process was meant to ensure a quicker resolution to complaints that did not require the TPB to commence an investigation, allowing the board to focus its resources on high-risk agents.
The trial was expected to run for six months, with a review set to take place in September.
Accountants Daily can confirm that the program has now been cancelled, after it was revealed that the professional associations were not consulted on the matter.
The Institute of Public Accountants general manager of technical policy Tony Greco had earlier criticised the trial for appearing “out of the blue”, and said the 72-hour time frame was too “aggressive” for smaller practices.
The TPB said consultations with the professional associations only commenced after the trial was launched, with feedback eventually leading to it ending the trial early.
“Recognised professional associations were informed by the TPB in April of its intention to launch a six-month trial of a 72-hour complaint resolution process,” a TPB spokesperson told Accountants Daily.
“Associations were then consulted on the potential outcomes and impacts of this process for the tax profession.
“As a result of this consultation, the TPB considers there is no need to progress the trial. Instead, the TPB will continue to action complaints by encouraging complainants to engage the practitioner in the first instance to attempt to resolve the complaint.”
Mr Greco said it was pleasing to see the TPB end the trial after considering industry feedback.
“Most of us were surprised that it was put in place and there wasn’t all that much consultation,” Mr Greco said.
“If it’s taken away then they’ve thought about it and realised that these time frames don’t allow for much leeway, and I think we should go back to the table and work out what’s doable instead of putting an aggressive time frame in place.
“We’ll support consultations going forward, but the proposed time frame appeared too aggressive and not likely to achieve the outcomes that all parties would have liked.”
Jotham Lian is the news editor of Accountants Daily, the leading source of breaking news, analysis and insight for Australian accounting professionals.
Before joining the team in 2017, Jotham wrote for a range of national mastheads including the Sydney Morning Herald, and Channel NewsAsia.