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Tax agents withheld client refunds

Adam Zuchetti
Adam Zuchetti
17 January 2019 1 minute readShare
ato australian taxation office company tax return form withholding client refunds

Two tax agent practices have had their registration terminated following a series of complaints that they had failed to pass on tax refunds to their clients.

Following a joint investigation by the tax office and the Tax Practitioners Board (TPB) — the governing body for accountants and tax agents — the registrations of QTR Accountants Pty Ltd and Nicoh Group Pty Ltd have been torn up.

The two companies combined had been the source of 19 complaints to the TPB from taxpayers who had used their online services but had not received the tax refunds they had been owed for the 2017–18 financial year.

Once the investigation began, more than 200 other consumer complaints about the companies were identified from a range of sources.

The board’s chair, Ian Taylor, said that such conduct is not acceptable on the part of registered tax agents.

“Tax practitioners must meet strict standards of fitness and propriety to register with the TPB, and we expect that they will continue to meet these standards,” Mr Taylor said.

“It is extremely disappointing that registered tax practitioners showed such disregard for the professional and ethical standards we aim to uphold.”

According to Mr Taylor, the matter is being pursued by the WA Police Force.

Anyone who may have a similar complaint about these companies, or believe they have been the victim of tax refund theft more broadly, is urged to lodge a formal complaint with the TPB and/or contact the Australian Cybercrime Online Reporting Network (ACORN).

The case comes just days after it was revealed that another tax agent had its registration suspended after an audit revealed a $100,000 shortfall in the tax paid by 15 of its clients.

Tax agents withheld client refunds
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Adam Zuchetti
Adam Zuchetti

Adam Zuchetti is the former editor of MyBusiness and a senior freelance media professional, specialising in the fields of business, personal finance and property. In 2020, he also embarked on his own business journey – inspired in part by the entrepreneurs and founders he had met through his journalistic work – with the launch of customised pet gifting and subscription service Paws N’ All.

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