Date posted: 15/09/2019 5 min read

Review of the Tax Practitioners Board

On 5 March 2019 the Government announced an independent review into the effectiveness of the Tax Practitioners Board and the Tax Agent Services Act 2009. The final report was delivered to Government on 31 October 2019.

In brief

  • CA ANZ has been an active participant in this review
  • The timeframe for a response from Government on the final report is currently unknown
  • CA ANZ will continue to monitor closely this and any recommendations made

Joint accounting bodies' submission

CA ANZ recently made a final submission to Treasury in relation to the review of the Tax Practitioners Board (the Review). The submission was in response to the Discussion Paper released by Treasury in early August. It was made jointly with CPA Australia.

The Discussion Paper on the review of the TPB was a culmination of many months of consultations, with CA ANZ participating in a number of roundtable discussions and consultative forums as well as making initial submission to Treasury.

In this latest submission, we recognise the important and valuable role of the Tax Practitioners Board (TPB) plays in regulating and supporting the tax profession.

CA ANZ and CPA Australia submitted that the Review should ensure that principles of agency independence, privacy, market neutrality, competition and freedom of association guide the discussion on potential changes.

As professional associations and on behalf of our members, we consider there is a lack of clarity about the relative priorities and interactions between these various bodies of work, all of which may impact tax practitioners. Consistency and fairness across the relevant laws and regulations with similar levels of obligations and requirements and similar penalties for commensurate unacceptable behaviours was sought.

Key points arising for our general position:

  • The Discussion Paper proposes several potential changes with limited details on how the change would be designed, funded and administered
  • We do not agree that the TPB is responsible for the 'integrity of the tax system', rather it is the regulator of the tax profession and thereby provides consumer protection
  • We do not support the imposition of the full cost recovery model on the TPB and any increased costs arising from this Review should be funded by government
  • The proposed improvements to information sharing require greater detail in terms of scope, administration and safeguards
  • The tone and direction of any recommendations should be carefully articulated so as not to be seen as an attack on the profession.

The submission also provides a log of specific issues that we have collated from CA ANZ's experience with the TASA over the past decade.

CA ANZ response to release of discussion paper on Tax Practitioners Board

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