The AAT has urged the federal government to provide the Tax Practitioners Board (TPB) with greater resources to identify and prosecute unregistered tax agents, as illegal BAS agents target small businesses across the country.
Stuart Norman, AAT chief executive officer, warned that small businesses that use unregistered BAS agents can end up paying tax penalties “and, in the worst situations, the actions of unregistered BAS agents could cost their unwitting clients their businesses”.
The AAT has called on the government to use the imminent federal Budget to improve funding for the TPB so it can take more effective compliance action against unregistered BAS agents.
“At a time when tax reform is on the government’s agenda, it should be taking more vigorous action to enforce the existing tax law out of fairness to those small businesses who are doing the right thing – including properly registered BAS agents,” Mr Norman said.
“The provision of BAS agent services by someone not registered with the Tax Practitioners Board to provide these services is illegal.
“We are calling on the government to take action against those illegally offering BAS services by increasing the funding for the TPB in the Budget so that they can more effectively enforce the law.”
Mr Norman said it is important the government ensures the TPB has the resources it needs to enforce the law and protect Australian small businesses. “That is not presently the case,” he said.
The activity of unregistered BAS agents is unfair to those BAS agents who do the right thing, Mr Norman said, by being qualified and registered, undertaking training, paying for professional indemnity insurance and running a business that complies with tax law.