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Tax agents penalised for disregarding their own tax returns

Maja Garaca Djurdjevic
Maja Garaca Djurdjevic
24 August 2021 1 minute readShare
Tax agents penalised for disregarding their own tax returns

Two tax agents have been terminated after showing blatant disregard for their tax affairs, the TPB has confirmed.

Grant Tomkinson and Grant McCarthy have had their tax agent registrations terminated for failing to comply with their tax affairs, the Tax Practitioners Board (TPB) confirmed on Tuesday.

The Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT) supported the TPB decision, noting that both tax practitioners had downplayed the seriousness of their conduct as part of their appeals.

According to the TPB, Mr Tomkinson, who has been slapped with a ban from re-applying for 18 months, is not fit to register as a tax agent due to his repeated non-compliance with his tax affairs over several years.

Mr Tomkinson is said to have breached multiple items of the Code of Professional Conduct by failing to lodge his business activity statements on multiple occasions and individual tax returns over a two-year period. He also failed to lodge six quarterly superannuation guarantee charge statements and defaulted on numerous payment arrangements. 

Similarly, Mr McCarthy was terminated for failing to meet his tax obligations. At the time of the TPB’s decision, he also failed to pay, or enter into a payment arrangement, for tax debts totalling nearly $600,000. During the course of the investigation, Mr McCarthy had entered into payment arrangements but had defaulted. 

Speaking about the outcomes, chair of the TPB, Mr Ian Klug AM, said that registered tax practitioners are not only entrusted to manage the tax affairs of their clients, but they are also taxpayers in their own right.

“It is important they lead the way by ensuring they comply with their tax obligations in line with both community expectations and tax laws,” Mr Klug said.

“Both McCarthy and Tomkinson showed cavalier behaviour in their pattern of conduct in respect to paying assessments on time and fulfilling their tax obligations. In doing so, they failed to realise the severity of their actions.”

The TPB has urged Australians to get in touch if they know of a tax practitioner who is not lodging their tax returns.

Tax agents penalised for disregarding their own tax returns
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Maja Garaca Djurdjevic
Maja Garaca Djurdjevic

Maja Garaca Djurdjevic is the editor of My Business. 

Maja has a decade-long career in journalism across finance, business and politics. Now a well-versed reporter in the SME and accounting arena, prior to joining Momentum Media, Maja reported for several established news outlets in Southeast Europe, scrutinising key processes in post-conflict societies and enabling citizens to influence decision-making.

You can email Maja on [email protected] 

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