From Government

  • Imposes Penalties for Tax Adviser Misconduct

In response to the scandal that recently happened involving tax advisers leaking confidential information to clients, the Government announced steps to improve tax system integrity. The reform package covers three main areas:

  • improving the tax system’s integrity
  • increasing regulators’ powers, including the Tax Practitioners Board and ATO, and
  • improving regulatory arrangements.

When improving the integrity of the tax system, the government decided that it would:

  • The government plans to significantly increase the penalties for advisers and firms who promote tax exploitation schemes from $7.8 million to over $780 million.
  • They also aim to expand the promoter penalty laws, making it easier for the ATO to enforce them.
  • Furthermore, the time limit for the ATO to bring Federal Court proceedings on promoter penalties will be extended from four years to six years after the conduct occurred.

The Treasury will oversee the government’s response in this area. They intend to deliver options for reform to the government progressively over the next two years. Consultation is expected to begin in the upcoming months.

From the Regulators

  • Online Services for Foreign Investors

Foreign investors who invest in Australia now can give authority to representatives to access ATO online services on their behalf with the help of their myGovID. This process is based on whether the foreign investor has an ABN or not. It is vital to review the ATO guides before starting the registration process and collect all information required to be given before completing the registration.

  • Client Bank Account Details on Returns

The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) has issued a reminder to tax agents regarding the importance of providing accurate financial institution details on all tax returns and other submissions. These details must be manually entered when using Online services for agents. Failure to include this information may result in the ATO removing it from the client’s account, causing any future refunds to be issued by cheque and increasing the processing time. It is crucial to ensure that all necessary information is provided to prevent any delays or inconvenience.

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