On 18 December 2020, the Federal Court of Australia handed down the sentence to Kent Scott Hacker. In addition, Hacker and his related companies were fined for multiple offences under the Tax Agent Services Act 2009 (TASA).
In June 2020, the Federal Court ruled that Hacker and his businesses had repeatedly been in contempt of court. The court also found that Hacker had contravened the TASA 45 times and his two companies 42 times.
The Court granted the Tax Practitioners Board’s (TPB) request for permanent injunctions against each entity, restraining Hacker, One Stop Global Staffing Pty Ltd (OSGS) and Naleview Pty Limited, from further provision of unregistered tax agent services. Hacker was also restrained from providing BAS services whilst unregistered.
The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) raided OSGS offices in November 2018 and uncovered evidence validating ATO suspicions that Hacker had been preparing and lodging tax returns for thousands of taxpayers whilst unregistered with the Board.
By February 2019, the TPB launched a Federal Court action against Hacker and his two companies.
During the proceedings, hacker gave an undertaking to the Federal Court that he would stop providing tax agent services to clients for a fee or other reward.
Intelligence from the ATO confirmed that despite this undertaking, he continued to provide services to clients.
The TPB then sought a court order forcing Hacker to display large notices at the OSGS offices warning taxpayers of the risks of using Hacker’s services.
“For nearly two years, Hacker has brazenly and consistently ignored court orders and his behaviour has put his clients at risk and undermined the integrity of the taxation system,” said TPB chair Ian Klug.
“The TPB will continue to target unregistered preparers to ensure the professional and ethical standards of the tax profession is maintained.”