• Illegal preparers penalised

    There's a new era of professionalism in the tax industry with the establishment of a national Tax Practitioners Board and a new regulatory system.

    The new board has the power to take dodgy operators out of circulation. It replaces six state based boards and oversees a national registration and regulation system for both tax and Business Activity Statement (BAS) agents.

    Tax Commissioner, Michael D'Ascenzo, said he's looking forward to a strong collaborative relationship with the board as it administers the new regulatory system.

    'I welcome the appointment of Mr Dale Boucher PSM as the inaugural chair of the board - he has the management experience and expertise to ensure a smooth transition to the new regime,' Mr D'Ascenzo said.

    'The new board brings a wealth of experience covering all areas of tax and BAS agent activities and will help ensure greater consistency and transparency for individual practitioners, the profession and the community.'

    He said it will bolster the integrity of the industry by administering a code of professional conduct with which all registered practitioners will have to comply.

    'It will safeguard consumers from dodgy preparers and promote a new level of protection in the industry.

    'The code of conduct is based on values including honesty and integrity, independence, confidentiality and competence.

    'These values aren't new to tax professionals, in fact most are already working with these values in mind and have been for a long time.'

    Mr D'Ascenzo said those who fail to comply now face tough penalties including suspension and deregistration.

    'While we don't expect this to happen often, we do expect it to act as a deterrent to those agents who may contemplate working outside the code.'

    The board has the power to impose penalties of up to $137,500 on those who pose as tax professionals and/or illegally prepare tax returns.

    'It's unfortunate that in the past a small minority have compromised the professionalism and integrity of the whole industry and left consumers vulnerable.

    'We can now clamp down on this type of illegal activity which enhances the professionalism of the industry and protects consumers'.

    National Tax Practitioners Board


    • Mr Dale Boucher, PSM

    Board members:

    • Mr Matthew Addison
    • Ms Cynthia Coleman
    • Professor Gordon Cooper AM
    • Mr Roger Cotton
    • Mr Chris Doogan AM
    • Mr Michael Evans
    • Mr George Fox
    • Ms Miriam Holmes
    • Professor Dale Pinto
    • Mr Russell Smith

    Did you know?

    • The new regulatory system protects taxpayers who use tax agents or BAS agents from some penalties, provided they properly supply their agent with accurate information.
    • Breaches of the code of conduct can result in practitioners being ordered to undergo training, work under supervision or have restrictions placed on their work. Breaches can ultimately lead to being deregistration. Civil penalties can follow if they fail to comply.
    • The board will receive administrative support from the Tax Office but operate independently.

    For more information please visit www.tpb.gov.au

      Last modified: 28 Jan 2010QC 28247