Personal Taxes

Tax agent terminated resulting from neglect of personal tax obligations

The Administrative Appeals Tribunal has upheld the Tax Practitioners Board’s decision to terminate Grant Tomkinson’s registration as a tax advisor and prevent him from applying for re-registration for 18 months.

It is determined that Mr. Tomkinson, the sole director of WTM Financial Services, in his capacity as trustee of the WT Martin & Associates Staff Super Fund, has failed to file two income tax returns, 27 business activity returns (BAS) and 12 BAS.

He was also found to have failed to pay his employees’ pensions for six quarters and incurred a $ 64,753 pension guarantee fee.

The tribunal heard that while Mr. Tomkinson had paid off his SGC debt in full, he still had an overdue built-in customer account debt of $ 366,533 at the time of the hearing.

On appeal to the AAT, Mr. Tomkinson alleged that he had failed to meet his personal tax obligations because, after his business partner’s retirement, he “looked after customers” and “tried to clean up the practice”.

He also stated that he was embroiled in an unsuccessful financial venture that distracted him from his own tax and deposit obligations.

Linda Kirk, senior AAT member, was not convinced by his statement, however, as she found that Mr Tomkinson’s repeated violations over several years were serious violations that were only resolved under pressure from the TPB and the ATO.

Ms. Kirk also highlighted that Mr. Tomkinson failed to disclose his outstanding tax obligations to TPB when renewing his registration as a tax agent, as a clear violation of TPB’s professional code.

“This behavior is serious, not only because of the number of violations, but also because of the long years that they have occurred,” said Ms. Kirk. “Many of the delays in making deposits have resulted in delays of hundreds of days. While each individual violation can be viewed as relatively minor, cumulative they constitute serious violations [Mr Tomkinson’s] tax obligations.

“The evidence shows that [Mr Tomkinson] Measures to remedy his non-compliance with his tax obligations were only taken when significant pressure was exerted on him, in particular the prospect of losing his registration as a tax agent.

“Given the evidence that [Mr Tomkinson] has only fulfilled his tax obligations under threat of de-registration or after agreeing a payment plan for debt repayment with the ATO, the tribunal cannot be satisfied … [Mr Tomkinson] is a suitable and suitable person to register as a tax agent. “

In determining the length of time Mr. Tomkinson would not be allowed to apply for registration, Ms. Kirk believed that because of what he said as a registered mortgage broker, he would not be entirely unable to make a living.

Ms. Kirk also relied on similar recent decisions and decided that 18 months was appropriate.

Tax agent terminated due to neglect of personal tax obligations

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Last updated: July 28, 2021 Published: July 28, 2021

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Jotham Lian

Jotham Lian

Jotham Lian is the editor of Accountants Daily, the premier source of breaking news, analysis and insight for Australian accountants.

Prior to joining the team in 2017, Jotham wrote for a number of national mastheads, including the Sydney Morning Herald and Channel NewsAsia.

You can send Jotham an email to: This email address is being protected from spam bots! You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Jotham Lian is the editor of Accountants Daily, the premier source of breaking news, analysis and insight for Australian accountants.

Prior to joining the team in 2017, Jotham wrote for a number of national mastheads, including the Sydney Morning Herald and Channel NewsAsia.

You can send Jotham an email to: This email address is being protected from spam bots! You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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