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  • SAN misuse leads to termination of tax practitioner's registration

    Following one of our SAN misuse mailouts, an SMSF auditor carefully reviewed their client list and found there were funds listed that they did not audit. After they contacted us to let us know, we began an investigation which revealed further funds had not received an audit.

    Over a period of nine years, Adamson & Cross lodged a number of self-managed superannuation fund (SMSF) annual returns and falsely declared the SMSFs had been audited when no audits had taken place.

    We referred this case to the Tax Practitioners Board (TPB) who uncovered that the partnership lodged 125 SMSF annual returns. The TPB concluded that the partnership had failed to act honestly and provide competent tax agent services.

    The TPB decided to terminate the registration of Mr Cross on the grounds of misconduct and imposed a two-year non-application period. The registration of Mr Cross' partnership, trading as M. Adamson and A. Cross (Adamson & Cross) was also terminated.

    The case was taken to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT) and they found regardless of motivation, 'Mr Cross had repeatedly and deliberately chosen to put what he perceived to be the interests of his clients, above his fundamental professional duty to act honestly. He deliberately and repeatedly chose to mislead the ATO. The decision to terminate was backed by the AAT.

    This serves as a reminder as to how seriously we take SAN misuse. Having concluded our most recent and most successful mailout, we will soon be contacting tax professionals where instances of SAN misuse may have occurred.

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      Last modified: 23 Mar 2021QC 65114