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TPB, ATO practitioner crackdown reels in $40m


Over $40 million in outstanding tax bills and 1,000 late SMSF returns owed by tax practitioners have now been recovered by the ATO and Tax Practitioners Board.

By Jotham Lian 9 minute read

First launched last year, the TPB’s debt and compliance project has now seen tax practitioners pay over $40 million in outstanding tax bills.

“I’m pleased to see that many practitioners have responded, paying over $40 million in outstanding tax bills, and taking action with more than 6,000 late lodgements,” said TPB chair Ian Klug.

“Australians expect people like tax practitioners, who operate in positions of trust, to do the right thing.”

ATO assistant commissioner Dana Fleming said the compliance action on tax practitioners has also resulted in over 1,000 SMSF late returns being lodged by tax agent trustees, disclosing total assets exceeding $500 million.

As part of the compliance action, the ATO wrote to tax agents and approved SMSF auditors who had failed to lodge their SMSF annual return for one or more years.

“This is particularly the case when some practitioners were found to be acting as trustees of their own SMSF, with collective outstanding returns of over a billion Australian dollars in superannuation retirement assets,” Ms Fleming said.

“We continue to target tax practitioners who fail their legal and ethical responsibilities and the ATO is separately pursuing agent cases, including debt recovery litigation and prosecution actions.”

Mr Klug said the TPB has commenced 35 investigations into higher-risk breaches, with a view to imposing sanctions, including termination of registration.

“The message to tax practitioners is clear: you need to act now to ensure your personal tax obligations are up to date,” he said.

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Jotham Lian

Jotham Lian


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.

You can email Jotham at: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 

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