The government is taking steps to strengthen the independence of the Tax Practitioners Board from the ATO, in line with a review recommendation.
The TPB chair will now be able to appoint the board’s chief executive, after the Commissioner of Taxation agreed to delegate the power.
Assistant Treasurer Michael Sukkar said this would ensure the CEO’s direct accountability to the board, as recommended in a TPB review.
“As foreshadowed in the government’s November 2020 response to the review, this is being achieved efficiently by avoiding the establishment of a new statutory authority and implementing changes that retain the flexibility and agility of current arrangements,” Mr Sukkar said.
He said it would put decisions about the day-to-day operations and overall direction of the TPB secretariat under the control of the TPB chair.
“Tax practitioners recognise the importance of a strong and independent regulator. With these changes the Government will ensure that the separate, but related, and collaborative roles of the TPB and the ATO will continue to strengthen,” Mr Sukkar said.
The ATO and the TPB intend to settle the necessary arrangements by 1 July 2022.
The change was among key recommendations in a joint submission by CA ANZ and CPA Australia to the Treasury’s review of the TPB, conducted by Keith James, in 2019.
The accounting bodies had called for the TPB’s governance arrangements to achieve both structural independence and impartiality so that the board is not open to challenges of its decision-making process through the courts and by the community.
Tony Zhang is a journalist at Accountants Daily, which is the leading source of news, strategy and educational content for professionals working in the accounting sector.
Since joining the Momentum Media team in 2020, Tony has written for a range of its publications including Lawyers Weekly, Adviser Innovation, ifa and SMSF Adviser. He has been full-time on Accountants Daily since September 2021.