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The pot, the kettle and “high integrity” practitioners


In March 2018 at The Tax Institute’s National 33rd Convention, the Commissioner made observations about practitioner conduct and the impact of that conduct on the revenue. The Commissioner spoke of some practitioners who displayed “outdated knowledge” and other practitioners who were “deliberately scamming or cheating the system”. The author identifies leveraging and exploitation of the main residence exemption (MRE) as an area worthy of closer attention. The author also identifies innovations that the ATO could easily implement with the objective of protecting the revenue and simultaneously ensuring that the practices of “high integrity” agents are not undermined by practitioners with outdated knowledge or by practitioners deliberately scamming or cheating. If implemented, the innovations would: reduce the opportunities for leveraging or exploiting the MRE; enable taxpayers to more readily satisfy the CGT record-keeping burden; reduce undocumented cash transactions for expenditures on main residences; and elevate the importance of “feet on the beat”.

Author profile

Christopher Wallis CTA
Chris commenced practice as a Barrister in 1991 and 27 years later has a strong no nonsense reputation throughout Australia in the fields of equity and revenue law. Chris’ focus is on keeping clients out of the AAT and Court using attention to detail and negotiation to secure certainty for clients at the earliest opportunity, a focus which has involved him in numerous in-house facilitation sessions. Chris is a regularly published author and a member of the Editorial Board of the Australian Tax Law Bulletin and also of the Australasian Tax Teachers Association (ATTA). Chris presents regularly throughout Australia for the professional bodies and ATTA and has completed studies in international tax at the Institute for Austrian and International Tax Law at Wirtschafts Universitat in Vienna and the IBFD in Amsterdam. Two of Chris' recently published articles have addressed issues arising under the ATO's in-house facilitation process. Subsequent changes to the process reflected observations in the articles. - Current at 08 October 2019
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