The TPB says the Queensland practitioner misled clients and failed in her own compliance.
Tax agent banned for five years after ‘serious breaches’
Serious breaches of the professional code by a Queensland tax agent have resulted in the TPB stripping them of their registration.
Individual tax agent Caren Moroney and her associated company, CJM Accounting Pty Ltd of Burrum Heads, failed their clients, failed in their own tax compliance, and failed to cooperate with an ATO audit, the TPB said.
Around 20 clients had experienced ATO audits and adjustments to their income tax returns after they were provided with incorrect advice and overclaimed deductions without appropriate evidence.
Ms Moroney and CJM Accounting also failed to meet their own tax obligations, especially in dealing with GST and pay-as-you-go withholding.
“This case had some of the worst features of abuse of trust, including failing to provide refunds to clients, and failure to cooperate with the related ATO audit,” TPB chair Ian Klug said.
“The board banned the tax agents and supported the community by excluding them from reapplying for registration for five years, the maximum period under the law.”
Recent TPB survey results confirmed high levels of community trust in tax and BAS agents acting honestly and ethically, with support at 89 per cent.
The TPB said the majority of Australians and businesses were supported by professional, registered tax practitioners to access government services and to support their tax and superannuation compliance.
“Community confidence in tax practitioners and the system is particularly important as we prepare for tax time,” Mr Klug said.
“The TPB will support honest taxpayers and practitioners, investigating serious misconduct, and dealing with those who abuse their clients or fail their own tax obligations.”
Mr Klug said the tax profession had no room for those who acted unethically or dishonestly.
“I encourage taxpayers to ensure their tax or BAS agent is registered with the TPB. I also thank those members of the community and the profession who let us know where they suspect misconduct,” Mr Klug said.
“Complaints can be lodged anonymously, and every matter is taken seriously – submit a complaint.”
The Tax Practitioners Board regulates tax practitioners and aims to assure the community that tax practitioners meet appropriate standards of professional and ethical conduct.
The TPB Register contains details of registered, suspended and deregistered tax and BAS agents.
Generally only registered tax and BAS agents can charge or receive a fee or other reward for providing tax agent, BAS or tax (financial) advice services.