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Tax agent cops maximum ban over ‘wilful deceit’

Tax

A Victorian tax agent has been banned for the maximum five-year period after the Tax Practitioners Board found that he had relied on an employee to satisfy the qualifications required to be a registered agent.

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Srinivasarao Jakkampudi, sole director and supervising tax agent of Truecare Solutions Pty Ltd, was found to have asked his employee to complete written assessments so he could dishonestly satisfy the qualifications required for tax agent registration in 2020.

Once registered, Mr Jakkampudi went on to commit a string of offences, including lodging multiple income tax returns for clients that contained containing false and unsubstantiated information, including claiming incorrect amounts of business losses and work-related expenses deductions.

The TPB did not disclose the cost of the errors but noted that it resulted in the ATO amending multiple income tax returns for those clients and imposing penalties.

As sole director of Truecare, Mr Jakkampudi also failed to ensure that it met its lodgement obligations, further demonstrating a pattern of negligent behaviour.

Taking into account Mr Jakkampudi’s lack of integrity and the deliberate disregard of his professional obligations, the TPB ruled that he ceased to meet the fit and proper person requirement and moved to terminate his registration and impose the maximum five-year ban.

Commenting on the case, TPB chair Ian Klug said the regulator would not hesitate to strike out dishonest tax agents who were bringing the profession into disrepute.

“Mr Jakkampudi was wilful in his deceit and deliberate in his conduct – this will not be tolerated,” said Mr Klug.

“Most tax practitioners do the right thing, but where there are transgressions that put the integrity of the tax system and the reputation of the tax profession at risk, the TPB will act firmly and swiftly.

“Over 88 per cent of consumers have high levels of trust in their tax practitioners – we need to protect this consumer confidence, especially at this time of the year when people’s tax affairs are often at the forefront.

“If you know someone doing the wrong thing, report them to us so we can take the necessary steps to protect the community.”

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Jotham Lian

Jotham Lian

AUTHOR

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.

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