A bankrupt tax agent has been banned from being able to renew his registration by the Tax Practitioners Board, after declaring bankruptcy with debts of $36 million.
The TPB said in a statement that it had revoked the registration and issued the maximum five-year ban on reapplying to Peter Moltoni.
It said the move followed legal action in the Virgin Islands, which had allegedly linked Mr Moltoni to an apparent shell company holding US$21 million (approximately $30.2 million AUD at the time of publishing).
The Board also noted that in August last year, the Supreme Court of Western Australia had denied Mr Moltoni’s stay of recovery action by the deputy commissioner of taxation relating to “an allegedly due and unpaid tax-related liability in an amount of just over $34,500,000”, and was also ordered to pay costs.
As a result, the TPB said Mr Moltoni became bankrupt in October of last year, with total debts surpassing $36 million.
“In addition to these serious breaches, Mr Moltoni failed to disclose to the Board his adverse circumstances, in breach of his requirements under the Tax Agent Services Act 2009,” the TPB said.
The Board’s chair, Ian Klug, said that offshore tax avoidance or evasion by tax practitioners amounted to them failing to meet their legal and ethical responsibilities.
“They undermine public trust in honest tax advisers, and can expose themselves and their clients to significant penalties and potential criminal sanctions,” Mr Klug said.
“This case is also a call to action for those practitioners involved in tax avoidance or evasion schemes to review their circumstances and those of their clients, and ensure full disclosure to the TPB and to the ATO.”
Mr Klug added: “Our combined efforts have resulted in an outcome which demonstrates our shared commitment to safeguard the ethics of the tax profession.”
According to the TPB’s register, Mr Moltoni worked as an individual tax agent in the Perth suburb of Subiaco.
Adam Zuchetti is the editor of My Business, and has steered the publication’s editorial direction since early 2016.
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