The Tax Practitioners Board has thrown the book at a Victorian tax agent, terminated his tax agent registration, and banned him for five years after an investigation turned up that he both dishonestly obtained his registration and engaged in misconduct.
The penalty is that Srinivasarao Jakkampudi, a sole director and supervising tax agent of Truecare Solutions Pty Ltd, asked an employee to complete assessments on his behalf so that he could get his tax agent’s ticket.
Jakkampundi used the results obtained by his employee to obtain his registration.
Multiple tax returns were then lodged for clients through the accounting practice that contained false and unsubstantiated material. The returns claimed incorrect amounts for business losses and work-related expenses.
“The claims he made were wrong and his failure to check his clients’ circumstances resulted in amendments and penalties being imposed on them,” the TPB said.
Lodgement deadlines for the practice were not met and the TPB said that it was a demonstration of further negligent behaviour on Jakkampudi’s part.
“Mr Jakkampudi was wilful in his deceit and deliberate in his conduct – this will not be tolerated. Most tax practitioners do the right thing, but where there are transgressions that put the integrity of the tax system and the reputation of the tax profession at risk, the TPB will act firmly and swiftly,” Ian Klug, the TPB chairman, said.
The TPB chairman said that it was important to ensure the dishonest tax agents were disciplined and taken out of the tax game given that it is the middle of tax time for most Australians.
“Over 88% of consumers have high levels of trust in their tax practitioners – we need to protect this consumer confidence, especially at this time of the year when people’s tax affairs are often at the forefront. If you know someone doing the wrong thing, report them to us so we can take the necessary steps to protect the community,” Klug said.
Jakkampundi’s termination as a tax agent is one of several disciplinary actions taken against tax agents over the past six months for failing to meet their obligations under the law.