AAT upholds termination in messy tax agent case

The Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT) has affirmed the Tax Practitioners Board's decision to terminate the tax agent registration of a Queensland practitioner and an associated entity, following findings of repeated compliance failures.

The AAT is not satisfied that Gregory Brown of GJ Brown & Co Pty Ltd is a fit and proper person, according to a statement from the TPB.

The TPB said this is on the grounds of his “repeated failures” to comply with the tax laws in both his personal and director’s capacities over a lengthy period, delays in addressing that non-compliance, and the fact that some of the non-compliance issues remain unresolved.

The Tax Agent Services Act 2009 (TASA) requires that the TPB be satisfied that an individual is a fit and proper person and that each director of a company is a fit and proper person before granting registration to the company.

Once the company is registered, all company directors must remain fit and proper persons.

The non-compliance acknowledged by the AAT includes failures to lodge income tax returns and business activity statements by the relevant due dates, and failures to pay tax liabilities as and when they fell due.

Mr Brown was consequently convicted of six tax offences for failing to lodge, and also subsequently failed to comply with court orders requiring rectification of the non-compliance.

Further, the AAT noted that the TPB previously formally cautioned GJ Brown & Co Pty Ltd for breaching the TASA by failing to lodge income tax returns and business activity statements by the relevant due dates.

“The TPB must act to protect the public and to maintain the integrity of, and trust in, the profession,” said the chair of the TPB, Ian Taylor.

“While the TPB recognises that practitioners may be affected by personal and/or practice issues and will work with them to ensure their compliance with the tax laws, where there is evidence of repeated misconduct we will take strong action, including termination of registration.”

 

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