On 30 April 2019, the Law Council of Australia (LCA) made its submission to the independent review of the Tax Practitioner’s Board (TPB) and the operation of the Tax Agents Services Act 2009 (TASA) – see related Tax Technical article. The thrust of the LCA’s submission was that the TASA should be amended and the TPB be funded, resourced and administered, so that it operates, and is seen to operate, independently of the Australian Taxation Office (ATO), as tax agents ought do, also. The LCA also endorsed my own submission, about the TPB taking some responsibility, along with legal regulators, for tax agents acting in breach of the various State and Territory laws prohibiting unqualified legal practice (see related Tax Technical article which included a link to my detailed article on the extent to which tax agents do breach those prohibitions). This is on the basis that both TASA and the legislation regulating the practice of law, both are designed to protect the public from unqualified service.

See below for the full text of the LCA’s submission and some further overview remarks.

FJM 11.5.19

[Tax Month – Jan-April 2019]

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