Tax agents warned to ensure they are compliant

The Tax Institute has issued a warning to tax agents to ensure they comply fully with registration requirements after an unregistered Canberra-based tax agent and his company were ordered to pay close to $1 million in fines.

As reported earlier in AccountantsDaily, the Federal Court of Australia recently imposed the largest penalty to date for breaches of the Tax Agent Services Act 2009 (TASA). Peter Kolya and his company, HP Kolya Pty Ltd, were ordered to pay $150,000 and $750,000 respectively, alongside an injunction that prevents both parties from providing or advertising tax agent or BAS services for the next 10 years.

Neither Mr Kolya nor his company were registered tax agents or BAS agents at the time, yet advertised the provision of tax agent services on their website.

Chief executive officer of The Tax Institute, Noel Rowland, said the judgement and scale of penalty imposed was indicative of the importance of completing the education requirements set out under the legislation.

“The Kolya case is a timely reminder to prospective tax agents, and particularly financial planners, of the registration requirements under TASA,” Mr Rowland said.

“Many financial planners may not be aware they operate within the TASA regime and are required to be compliant with the education and registration requirements of that legislation,” he said.

“In order to successfully register, tax agents and planners must have completed courses in Commercial Law and Australian Taxation Law that are approved by the Tax Practitioners Board.”

The Tax Institute is urging any practising tax agents, BAS agents and financial planners to ensure they are compliant with the TASA and Tax Practitioners’ Board requirements.

 

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