A former tax agent has been imprisoned for contempt of court for not complying with a Federal Court injunction to stop preparing and lodging returns.
Nathan Williams was sentenced to 10 days imprisonment and fined $80,000. The Federal Court found Mr Williams had knowingly broken the law by preparing and lodging income tax returns for a fee while not a registered tax practitioner.
Mr Williams first came to the TPB attention as a registered tax agent when the TPB found he had failed to pass tax refunds onto his clients.
Mr Williams’ registration lapsed, but he continued to provide tax agent services for a fee.
The TPB issued him with a ‘cease and desist’ notice in relation to this behaviour. Mr Williams acknowledged the notice, but continued to prepare and lodge 73 income tax returns for taxpayers in his local community for a fee. He put these taxpayers at risk for his own benefit.
Due to his continued disregard for the law, the TPB commenced proceedings in the Federal Court of Australia against Mr Williams, seeking an injunction to stop him from preparing and lodging further returns for taxpayers while not registered as a tax agent. Again, this did not stop him, and he continued to provide tax agent services contrary to the law and was found in contempt of the injunction by preparing and lodging 7 income tax returns.
He did this by obtaining login details of the taxpayers’ MyGov accounts and completing the returns on their behalf online.
Mr Williams was imprisoned for 10 days for contempt and $80,000 fine.
The Federal Court imposed a permanent injunction restraining Mr Williams from providing tax agent services for a fee or other reward. Further, Mr Williams is unable to apply to vary or revoke this order for at least 10 years.
If you receive a TPB Notice immediately engage a lawyer with TPB experience. At Waterhouse Lawyers we have successfully defended registered tax agents facing deregistration