05 Sep 1414 On the TPB's client confidentiality Information Sheet - the TPB responds
In 2014 TAXVINE No 30 (22 August 2014), Member 117 commented on the recently released Tax Practitioners Board Information Sheet TPB(I) 21/2014 entitled "Code of Professional Conduct - Confidentiality of client information" and suggested that it prevented "good honest tax agents...report[ing] wrong doing by taxpayers and other tax agents".
THE TAX PRACTITIONER BOARD (TPB) now responds:
"In most circumstances where the TPB has received a complaint about a practitioner from another practitioner, this has arisen pursuant to a client changing their practitioner. Generally, the new practitioner (in that capacity) has lodged a complaint after reviewing the previous practitioner’s work and noting particular concerns. In lodging a complaint on behalf of their new client, it would be expected that the new agent has the client’s permission to do so.
It is also noted that where the TPB receives complaints regarding a practitioner, the TPB will contact relevant parties and consider the evidence as part of due process, having due regard to the particular circumstances.
Where the TPB receives complaints about a practitioner without any specific examples or evidence provided, unfortunately there is little that the TPB can do. However, where a practitioner complains about an entity that appears to be providing tax agent services for a fee whilst unregistered, the TPB can follow up on these types of complaints directly (without any client details), as the matter of registration would be a matter of public record."