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MEMBER 88 writes:

“The Tax Practitioners Board needs some teeth!

Last week we had a client approach us to take over as agent for them from another local agent. This other agent had completed the client’s 2014 I return and these are the figures in the business schedule for a subbie contractor:

  • Gross Receipts: 70,000
  • Replacements: 7,400
  • Telephone: 1,000
  • Travel and accom: 3,000
  • Security: 2,300
  • Training: 2,400
  • Government Charges: 200
  • Fuel: 3,500
  • Other MV exps: 8,350

Now these figures may well be correct but I seriously doubt it! Yes the client signed off and the return was lodged but I don’t think this agent took reasonable care.

My issue is that last time we complained about this agent I got shunted back and forth between the TPB and the ATO to the point that I threw my hands in the air and gave up. Last time he took a MYOB P&L and put it straight into a CTR with no checking of figures – such as the superannuation that was accrued but not paid. Another client who was a PSI plasterer he advised could claim his home lawn mower!

This agent has little impact on our business, frankly we don’t want clients who want the biggest refund, and his impact on tax revenue is probably minimal. My issue is that the TPB issues rules and fact sheets to make it very clear what a tax agent’s obligations are. They then do very little to enforce it. Even simple things like checking professional associations as this agent is listed as a member of CPA Australia – which he is not.

My concern is if we have one agent of this calibre in our small rural area how many are operating like this across the nation? The biggest tool the ATO has in its arsenal of ensuring compliance is a properly trained, updated and ethical tax agent profession. It’s time the TPB got some teeth.”


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