The Tax Practitioners Board (TPB) has terminated the registration of a fourth tax agent as part of its review of tax practitioners believed to have provided false information to the ATO.
In an update on its website, the ATO revealed the tax agent was deregistered by the TPB for falsely indicating audits had been conducted for various SMSFs, bringing the total of tax agents to have their registrations terminated by the board for SMSF auditor number (SAN) misuse to four.
“The agent’s behaviour was uncovered after an auditor reviewed their client lists from multiple years and noticed funds listed that they had not audited. This auditor then got in contact with us and we were able to take appropriate action,” it said.
“The agent will not be able to apply for registration for two years. Penalties will apply if they continue to provide tax agent services.”
In addition to the four terminations of registration, the TPB has also suspended the registration of three tax practitioners since March when the ATO referred nearly 90 tax agents to the board following its investigation into nearly 500 instances of SAN misuse reported by auditors.
“This serves as a reminder for all auditors to carefully check their client list as they may also notice funds that they have not audited,” the ATO said.
“We take these matters very seriously and will continue to take action whenever we identify individuals doing the wrong thing.”
In July, the TPB banned tax agent Edward Mark Purnell-Webb and his company, Superannuation Administration Specialists (Qld) Pty Ltd, after an investigation by the TPB revealed Purnell-Webb had falsely claimed independent audits had been conducted for 172 SMSFs for which he had lodged tax returns.
In the same month, ATO SMSF auditor portfolio director Kellie Grant said action taken by the TPB against tax practitioners for fraudulently reporting a SAN, including its decision to ban Purnell-Webb, would serve as a deterrent for other practitioners.