UPDATED: “Inexcusable behaviour” put clients at risk and the matter was now in front of the ATO and police, the board says.
TPB bans agent for $3.75m in bogus BAS claims
A tax agent who lodged $3.75 million in bogus BAS claims has been banned for five years by the TPB and could be subject to a police investigation.
The TPB said Isaac Brown, operating as Ausred Accounting in Tarneit west Melbourne, had lodged false BAS on behalf of at least 15 clients without their knowledge or authorisation.
“Mr Brown subsequently misappropriated client refunds by nominating them to be paid into his own bank account, or the bank account of another individual who was not entitled to the returns,” the board said.
“In an attempt to cover his ruse, Mr Brown fabricated engagement letters on behalf of two clients that he provided to the board.”
When the ATO discovered the entities were not carrying on an enterprise for GST purposes it cancelled the lodgements to prevent over $3.75 million of BAS credits.
The TPB said the ATO was now investigating the matter further and Mr Brown’s activities could also “be of interest” to the AFP and state police.
The TPB said Mr Brown’s “unacceptable behaviour” had put clients at risk because he shared his personal MyGovID credentials with another individual.
This was “especially distressing” for clients because it allowed unsupervised access to confidential information that could then be used fraudulently.
In addition, Mr Brown in his role as a company director had failed to meet the lodgement deadlines for multiple BAS.
He had also failed to meet two ongoing registration requirements by ceasing to hold professional indemnity insurance and failing to complete the compulsory annual minimum continuing professional education requirements.
TPB chair Peter de Cure described the behaviour as “inexcusable”.
“Mr Brown acted dishonestly and facilitated the misappropriation of tax refunds that he received through the lodgement of false and misleading BAS,” he said. “This behaviour is inexcusable and we have terminated Mr Brown’s registration to safeguard taxpayers and community confidence in the integrity of the tax system and profession.”
“Our new expanded compliance program, announced by government late last year, has given the TPB much-needed resources to proactively target these high-risk tax practitioners, to address misconduct and to minimise harm and loss of revenue.”
“We will continue to work with our co-regulators targeting these higher-risk tax practitioners to stamp out non-compliance.’
In its first budget last year, the Labor government allocated $30.4 million to the TPB over four years from this July “to increase compliance investigations into high-risk tax practitioners and unregistered preparers”.
It said the TPB would use new risk engines to better identify tax practitioners who engage in poor and unlawful tax advice, to improve tax compliance and raise industry standards.