Australia's Tax Practitioners Board (TPB) has revealed that it is currently investigating more than 350 tax practitioners who are suspected of high-risk behaviour.
High-risk behaviours have been listed by the board as including a failure to meet personal tax obligations, over-claiming work-related expenses on behalf of clients, egregious conduct considered "black economy behaviour", non-lodgement of annual declarations and non-compliance with continuing professional education requirements.
According to the Tax Practitioners Board, a number of the cases were a result of referrals from the Tax Office, which reportedly continues to work closely with the board.
Of eight cases investigated under the debt and lodgement project, five tax practitioners had their registrations terminated for failure to meet personal tax obligations, four of those with a five year exclusion period"
Tax Practitioners Board chief executive Michael O'Neill said in some of the cases that have already been considered the board handed down heavy sanctions.
"Of eight cases investigated under the debt and lodgement project, five tax practitioners had their registrations terminated for failure to meet personal tax obligations, four of those with a five year exclusion period," O'Neill said.
"And of the eight investigations into non-compliance with CPE requirements, five tax practitioners were issued with suspensions, three with cautions and all eight ordered to complete additional hours of CPE," he added.
These penalties include a five-year registration termination for failing to disclose approximately A$1m in tax debt and overdue lodgement for more than 30 companies.
Another practitioner was hit with a five-year termination for fraudulently lodging income tax returns for several clients. A five-year termination was also handed out for failure to provide evidence of professional indemnity insurance.
A tax practitioner found himself suspended for a year because he prioritised personal spending on cars, holidays and dining expenses over meeting his own tax obligations.