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TPB targets fraudulent BAS activity and bans three agents for five years

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

Three registered tax practitioners have been investigated for fraudulent BAS activity by the Tax Practitioners Board (TPB) and in each case their registration has been terminated for five years.

In August the TPB investigated a BAS agent and found they had breached the Code of Professional Conduct (Code) when they failed to:

act honestly and with integrity by falsifying suppliers’ records (invoices) and personal bank statements

lodge a personal income tax return and quarterly activity statements by their respective due dates and pay a tax liability to the Australian Taxation Office

advise the Board they had become an undischarged bankrupt.

In June the TPB investigated a tax agent who allegedly lodged fraudulent BAS and failed to pay outstanding tax liabilities amounting to $1.6 million. The agent breached the Code by:

lodging false BAS for clients to generate a GST refund to which they were not entitled

altering clients’ financial details to receive their refunds into the agents personal account

failing to pay an outstanding tax liability for themselves and for 24 related entities

being subject to legal recovery action.

In July the TPB found that a registered BAS agent ceased to meet the tax practitioner registration requirement to be a fit and proper person because:

they provided false information to the Board in their annual declaration

they did not demonstrate sufficient competence in the lodgement of BAS under their personal ABN

they supplied a statement of relevant experience (SRE) purporting to be signed by their employer

their former employer did not consider them a fit and proper person to be registered.

TPB Chair, Mr Ian Klug AM, said these three recent cases highlight the scrutiny that tax practitioners must be prepared to undergo in meeting the stringent requirements of registration.

‘Tax practitioners who are involved in fraudulent activities of this kind undermine public trust in honest tax advisers,’ he said. ‘Where we see criminality, we’ll also refer to the authorities for investigation and possible prosecution.’

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