Date posted: 5/08/2019 2 min read

CA ANZ responds to release of discussion paper on the Tax Practitioners Board

CA ANZ applauds the close examination of the independence of the Tax Practitioners Board (TPB) following the recent release of the Discussion Paper on the review of the TPB.

CA ANZ Australian Tax Leader Michael Croker said that the discussion paper asks the right questions when it comes to whether the TPB's links with the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) is an impairment of its independence.

"The independence of the TPB is a foundational necessity so that tax practitioners and everyday taxpayers have confidence in the integrity of the tax system," said Mr Croker.

"We need the peace of mind that this important regulatory role is being carried out fairly, objectively and with accountability to the TPB alone.

"The increased focus on whether the TPB remains fit-for-purpose formed part of our initial submission to the review and we welcome its inclusion in the Discussion Paper. 

"Australia's tax system remains complex and is rapidly changing with many new players developing new tax applications and providing online services. A tax agent regulatory model built around shop front tax agents is no longer appropriate.

"At the same time increased ATO engagement based on data analytics is zeroing-in not just on taxpayers, but also those who advise them.

"We applaud the commitment made to delve into the educational and experience requirements of tax practitioners to ensure they are contemporary and relevant in today's landscape as this has been a long-standing concern for our members.

"However, CA ANZ remains committed to streamlining the existing regulatory duplications and red tape that creates heavy financial and compliance burdens for hard-working tax agents and financial advisers."

Mr Croker said there also remains a missing link in the discourse about regulation of the tax profession.

"The Discussion Paper rightly focuses on integrity and consumer confidence issues, but we continue to raise with the ATO how it will build into its systems more recognition of the assurance provided by better skilled tax agents who meet the highest ethical standards," said Mr Croker.

"Raising the bar is a good thing. Enhanced standing in the eyes of the tax regulator should follow."

On behalf of its 120,000 members, CA ANZ will contribute further submissions in response to the Discussion Paper and will work with Keith James and members of the Review Panel on the design and implementation of these important reforms to the tax regulatory system.

Review of the Tax Practitioners Board

Read our submission to the Treasury on the independent review of the effectiveness of the Tax Practitioners Board (TPB)

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