Published on: 6 Aug 2023
SYDNEY, 6 August 2023: The Tax Institute welcomes the Government’s announcement of reform measures to increase the integrity of our tax system through increased powers for regulators and improved collaboration between government agencies and with professional associations.
Tax professionals, including tax advisors, tax lawyers and accounting professionals, play a crucial role in our tax system. The majority of these people act with integrity, in the best interests of their clients and the wider community.
The Tax Institute’s General Manager of Tax Policy & Advocacy, Scott Treatt, CTA, says, “Recent questions as to integrity amongst tax advisors have arisen through concerning allegations of actions and inactions attributed to certain individuals, which have brought a cloud over the profession. While this behaviour must be addressed, we remain steadfast in our belief that this conduct does not reflect the attitude or work of the majority of our members, or indeed of tax professionals, who overwhelmingly conduct themselves with integrity and honesty.”
Greater legislative mechanisms for government agencies to appropriately address misconduct and deliberate ethical breaches can only be a step in the right direction. Members of The Tax Institute are subject to our by-laws, and increased collaboration with the Tax Practitioner’s Board (TPB) to address issues and concerns with the behaviour of members is a positive step for the integrity of our system.
Improved regulatory framework will also enable greater consumer confidence in all tax agents who do consistently act in accordance with the Code of Conduct.
“We are all – government, regulators, professional associations and practitioners – custodians of the tax system. This is a positive step toward joint accountability and consistent but fair due process. That kind of transparency is crucial in maintaining trust and fairness in our tax system,” Scott says.
We are pleased to see the Government’s approach to continued consultation, as the announced reform package must be implemented with appropriate consultation, transparency and scrutiny. For example, the implementation of the remainder of recommendations from the independent review of the TPB, which have a number of intricacies, must be handled with appropriate care.
Scott says, “The Tax Institute represents tax practitioners from across the profession. We will be working actively through the consultation process to help ensure that the many positive recommendations put forward by the independent review of the TPB are appropriately implemented without unintended consequences.”
“In recent times, many industries have faced the need to lift and improve standards. We are happy to play our part in ensuring our community is built on robust and fair systems, as are our members. We are here to support our members in upholding high ethical standards.”