• Tue. Mar 28th, 2023

Tax agents to face tougher penalties for breaching government confidentiality

ByGurinderbir Singh

Feb 13, 2023

They include financial support to the tax board which received $30 million in extra funding in the October budget, the end of a loophole that enabled disqualified tax practitioners to work for a qualified tax agent, and a move to annual registration periods for tax agents.

But Chalmers said the government would go much further with more changes in the near future.

“In addition to the legislation we’re introducing this week, we’re also looking closely at additional recommendations including strengthening TPB powers and tougher sanctions for those who breach their responsibilities,” he said.

Governments have for many years tapped the expertise of the private sector when drafting major changes to tax law.

Chalmers said this would continue, but there had to be penalties in place for those who breached those confidential dealings.


“We want to be consultative where that’s possible and appropriate and that means we need to improve how that’s done. Often more collaboration leads to better outcomes but the process can’t be compromised, it needs to be best practice,” he said.

“Breaches in confidentiality completely undermine our efforts to bring people together to tackle the big issues facing Australians.”

Assistant Treasurer Stephen Jones said there would be consultation with the tax sector about improving the tax system, but that could not be done if information was used for commercial benefit.

“We’ve put the industry on notice, there can’t be a repeat of the Peter Collins scandal,” he said.

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