The Federal Court has dismissed appeals by an individual and a company (of which he was the sole director) from the decision in Re Delis and Tax Practitioners Board [2015] AATA 820, effectively affirming the decisions of the TPB to refuse their renewal of registration as tax agents.

The individual and the company were registered tax agents whose applications for renewal of registration were denied by the Tax Practitioners Board. The reason given by the TPB was that the individual was not a fit and proper person and therefore was not eligible for registration as a registered tax agent and, in respect of the company, because the individual was the sole director of the company and he was regarded as not being a fit and proper person, the company was not eligible for renewal of registration.  The TPB also determined that the company had breached the Code of Professional Conduct which applied to registered tax agents.

The AAT affirmed the Board’s decisions. The Tribunal said the evidence before it disclosed a pattern of behaviour by the individual regarding his dealings with the ATO over a period of 14 years. The Tribunal found systematic, long term non-compliance by both the individual and the company in respect of their taxation obligations. The Tribunal considered that the reasons for non-payment of tax liabilities and super guarantee payments to the employees of the company could not be explained by the individual’s claimed ill-health or lack of funds from the accounting practice. It found the individual was not a fit and proper person to be registered and, because he was the sole director of the company, it too was not eligible to be registered as a tax agent.

The Federal Court examined each of the questions on appeal and upheld the Tribunal’s decision.

(Delis & Anor v Tax Practitioners’ Board [2016] FCA 570, Federal Court, Davies J, 24 May 2016.)

[LTN 99, 25/5/16]