Last month, the TPB announced the launch of a debt and lodgment project for tax practitioners who have personal tax debts with no payment plans, and outstanding lodgments including their income tax and SMSF annual returns.
According to the TPB, around 5,000 tax practitioners have a personal tax debt of over $300, with no active payment plans, and 2,500 practitioners who have not lodged one or more of their personal income tax returns or for those of their associated entities.
TPB chair Ian Taylor has reminded tax practitioners that they have until 31 January to get their affairs in order before the board proceeds with firmer action.
“The TPB will allow practitioners until the end of January to get their personal tax affairs in order, including the affairs of their associated entities, before commencing firmer action,” Mr Taylor told Accountants Daily.
“This action can include suspension or termination of their TPB registration, in addition to action undertaken by the ATO such as investigations, penalties and prosecution.
“We expect to see that tax practitioners with outstanding personal tax obligations have commenced getting these matters in order – such as engaging another tax practitioner, or contacting the ATO about their outstanding obligations.”
Accountants Daily understands that the TPB will be evaluating the project in mid-2019 before designing the next phase of its longer-term strategy, including possible closer scrutiny of a practitioner’s own tax return.
The ATO have confirmed that a tax practitioner’s own affairs could potentially be a trigger for client audits.
The TPB have also urged practitioners who have received an ATO reminder letter to call the number on the letter.
Practitioners who have a question about the debt and lodgment strategy or a question about their own lodgment call the TPB enquiry line and the registered agent info line respectively.
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Jotham Lian is the 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.