The Tax Practitioners Board (TPB) has commenced a review of 74 registered tax practitioners believed to have provided false information to the ATO including misuse of SMSF auditor numbers (SAN).
The tax practitioners under review are believed to have lodged SMSF annual returns for 2017 and 2018 with either an incorrect or fraudulently recorded SAN.
“SMSFs are an important component of Australia’s taxation and superannuation system and SMSF auditors play a critical role in ensuring the integrity of the system through the annual audits of SMSFs. These audits must be completed by an approved SMSF auditor before an SMSF annual return can be lodged,” the TPB stated.
All 74 practitioners, responsible for 106 funds, were referred to the TPB after the ATO found they had lodged annual returns for the 2017 financial year with an incorrect SAN.
In March, the ATO referred nearly 90 tax agents to the TPB in relation to behaviour around SAN misuse as part of its investigation into nearly 500 instances of misuse reported by auditors.
TPB chair Ian Klug said: “SMSF trustees rely on their superannuation savings to fund their retirement. The Australian government relies on regulators like the TPB, the ATO and tax practitioners to ensure that these funds are properly managed.
“The TPB will be demanding an explanation from all 74 tax practitioners. Misconduct or failure to adequately respond to the TPB’s inquiries is a breach of the code of professional conduct and may result in imposition of sanctions, including suspension or termination of registration.”
Last year, the TPB alerted people about the dangers of using unregistered tax agents when looking to lodge their tax returns for the 2019 financial year.