Institute of Certified Bookkeepers

TPB “Under new management”
(Based on a speech by the TPB Chairman Ian Klug and associated media release)

TPB “focus our strategies on those who do not provide excellent service” to their clients.

Their 2019–20 corporate plan wields the stick about regulating tax practitioners.

We read their statements, their speeches, their corporate plan as refocussing all their energy on those of us who have jumped hurdles and complied with the law by registering and so they know who we are.

There is a distinct lack of action and concentration indicated about those other practitioners providing tax services but they have not registered and therefore are presumably unknown to the TPB.

We are interested that such decisive pronouncements of this “new management” have occurred in a period when the TPB itself, as well as its enabling legislation – the Tax Agent Services Act 2009 – is under a formal review (final report issued to Government October 2019).

We support actions by the ATO and TPB to detect and prosecute agents who are registered and are actively involved in black economy and other tax avoidance type activities. TPB acknowledges this is only about 2000 (or 2.5% of) registered agents.

All registered agents should be supporting, enabling, informing and participating in a tax system with integrity. However, one key purpose of the TASA, and the role of the TPB, is to ensure the consumer is protected through finding and registering all those that are promoting services or providing services to the consumer. If the provider does not meet the requirements, or is not competent etc., then the role of the TPB is to ensure they are prevented from providing tax services. Where is the “new management” commitment to this detection and action against unregistered service providers?

We support activities of the ATO and the TPB in attacking the “tax gap”. Taking action to fix incorrect behaviour, fraud, mistakes and lack of competence are a must.

However we seek absolute overt action by both the TPB and the ATO to find and prosecute those service providers who work outside of the system.

We refer to the TPB Corporate plan and extract:

Extract from TPB Corporate Plan

Where do they state in their purpose, their objectives, or their strategies that they are investing any resource about the unregistered service providers?

TPB do note on page 7 that part of “enhancing the integrity of the registered tax profession” includes that “We will: Apply a targeted approach to dealing with unregistered tax practitioners”.

  • 30 October 2019
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