Review of the Tax Practitioners Board - Terms of reference

Date

This review is into the effectiveness of the Tax Practitioners Board and the operation of the Tax Agent Services Act 2009 (the Act) and the Tax Agent Services Regulations 2009, which establish the regulatory regime for tax practitioners in Australia.

The review will consider whether the legislative framework for the Tax Practitioners Board delivers on its policy objectives to ensure that tax agent services are provided to the public in accordance with appropriate standards of professional and ethical conduct. Further, that this framework does not impair the operation of the Tax Practitioners Board to deliver against their objectives, being:

  1. to maintain, protect and enhance the integrity of the registered tax practitioner profession;
  2. to promote the Tax Practitioners Board as an independent, efficient and effective regulator; and
  3. to protect all consumers of tax practitioner services.

The review will consider the current and future suitability and effectiveness of the legislative and governance framework.

The review will be informed by consultation on substantive issues identified before recommendations are made to Government by 31 October 2019. Submissions to the review will be made public unless otherwise requested.

In particular, the review should:

  1. Examine if the legislative framework is operating as intended and continues to be fit for purpose and meet the objectives of the Act.
  2. Examine if the governance framework is operating as intended and continues to be fit for purpose.
  3. Consider the appropriateness of the Tax Practitioners Board’s governance arrangements.
  4. Consider whether the tax agent services legislation supports the Tax Practitioners Board in responding to known and emerging issues.
  5. Examine whether the powers and the functions of the Tax Practitioners Board are sufficient to enable the objects of the legislative framework to be met.
  6. Consider any other matters that may enhance the regulatory environment that tax practitioners operate under, including the interaction with the regulation of relevant related professional activities.

Some issues may be identified that fall outside the scope of the review of the legislative framework. The government should be advised of these matters and recommend whether further examination should be undertaken.

Submissions

Submissions are invited in response to the issues raised in the terms of reference by sending through written submissions using the details below.

Some focusing questions for submissions could be:

  1. Are the governance arrangements for the Tax Practitioners Board working effectively and could they be improved?
  2. Are the qualification and experience requirements for individuals seeking to become a registered tax practitioner, or to renew their registration, appropriate?
  3. Are the Tax Practitioners Board’s compliance and investigation powers and functions appropriate?
  4. What other legislative measures could be implemented to further protect consumers of tax services?
  5. Is the ‘safe harbour’ provision in subsection 284-75(6) of Schedule 1 to the Taxation Administration Act 1953 effective?
  6. Are there any other suggestions to strengthen the operation of the Tax Agent Services Act 2009 or the Tax Agent Services Regulations 2009?

A Discussion Paper will then be circulated by June 2019 once the head of the review has considered the submissions. Stakeholders will then be provided with a further opportunity to contribute views on substantive issues raised in the Discussion Paper.

Closing date for submissions: 23 April 2019

Email TPBreview@treasury.gov.au
Mail

 

 

 

Mr Nick Westerink

 

Individuals and Indirect Tax Division

The Treasury

Langton Crescent

PARKES ACT 2600

Enquiries Enquiries can be initially directed to TPBreview@treasury.gov.au
Phone 02 6263 2801 or 02 6263 3991