A small business owner in Melbourne, Queensland, mistakenly used an unregistered tax agent (TA) to complete a tax return on behalf of a taxpayer and provide additional unauthorized details of deductible expenses. A large number of refunds were allegedly deposited into the respondent’s bank account and the respondent then forwarded the advance refunds to the taxpayer. According to the IRS, taxpayers must ensure that their tax agent is properly registered, which they can do by simply searching for a registered tax agent in Melbourne.
Tips for Tax Advisor
- The alleged fraud occurred under the following circumstances the tax advisor used the ATO’s online auto-complete service to prepare the tax return and inform the client of the expected refund amount.
- Unfortunately, even at this point, many of the deductions claimed were illegal, resulting in an overstatement of the actual refund.
- I then submitted a number of additional claims to increase the amount of the refund. Transferred the money to a bank account that I controlled.
- When he received the refund, he would refund the client the amount of the original claim and keep the rest, which amounted to several thousand dollars a year, for himself.
- Police are looking for this alleged scammer. We hope that if he is caught, he will be able to get his hands on all the files we keep regarding our clients’ taxes.
- If not, they will permanently lose a lot of their legitimate claims business.
How did this happen about fraudsters?
- There are a number of factors working in favour of the fraudsters. The ATO has a monitoring system in place to detect any abuse of the system.
- In Melbourne, we have a self-assessment system. Nothing is checked until a refund is due, but only if your income is significantly different from other businesses in the same industry or profession.
- By filing electronically directly with the IRS, an unlicensed accountant can file tax returns for their clients.
- Transfer tax refunds directly to an electronically managed bank account.
- A new system for tax agents has been introduced in Melbourne.
Only registered agents can provide tax services. charge fees to the ATO for representing clients. Clients who use a registered agent are now protected to some extent from errors. So, Delays in reporting by the registered agent.
Ask to see the tax agent’s certificate or request the registration number. Compare it to the registration form available on the Melbourne Taxation Office website. Accountants, CPAs and other professionals act as tax agents. Some belong to professional organizations with their own certification programs and use titles such as “tax agent” or “tax technician”. In some cases, the use of the title “specialist” is only permitted. So, if the individual is qualified and has reported the inappropriate use of the qualified professional title to the parent organization.
The moral of this story is to check the integrity of your tax representative. So, Take responsibility for your own affairs. It is also important to note that payments for unregistered TAs are not tax-deductible.