The Tax Practitioners Board (TPB) is dramatically increasing its tax agent investigations of tax agents leading to a consequent increase in deregistrations. The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) is also ramping up its activities in this area.
The deregistration process starts by the ATO reporting the tax agent for alleged breaches of the Professional Code of Conduct. The TPB then starts investigating the tax agent. The TPB notifies the tax agent of the investigation. This is the time when the tax agent has the best chance of fighting deregistration.
The tax agent’s response must be comprehensive and address in detail every single issue raised by the TPB. The tax agent must also address how these issues have been overcome since the ATO referral. This is the best time for a tax agent to fight the TPB claims.
If the TPB decides to deregister because the response by the agent does not address the problems, then the tax agent may apply to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal to fight the deregistration.
The Tribunal has taken a very strict approach and the majority of applicants are unsuccessful in defending their deregistration. If Tribunal proceedings are commenced, the best solution is for the tax agent’s representative to negotiate a settlement with the TPB.
Message: If you are being investigated by the TPB for suspected tax agent contraventions contact us now to prepare the best possible defence to the TPB draft recommendations.
If you decide to fight tax agent deregistration at the Tribunal, we can assist in the process and may be able to settle the matter without proceeding to a final hearing.