New tax agent law – a better ‘safety net’ for clients

The government’s new tax agent laws, which are due to begin early next year will make tax agents more accountable and boost protection for consumers, according to Australia’s peak accounting bodies – the Institute of Chartered Accountants in Australia (ICAA), CPA Australia and the National Institute of Accountants.
Assistant treasurer Nick Sherry will today brief members of Australia’s tax profession on the implications of the new regime at an event hosted at the ICAA’s head office in Sydney.

The joint accounting bodies said the tax agent reform has been 15 years in the making and that consumers of tax agent services would finally have a better safety net under the new laws.

All three bodies have supported the government’s initiative of putting in place a national regulatory regime that encompasses a uniform code of conduct for all practitioners.

One of the benefits of the new regime will be to deliver to consumers a better ‘safety net’ in respect of their dealings with tax practitioners.

As treasury secretary Dr Ken Henry will no doubt point to in the recommendations he makes as part of his current tax review, simplification of the tax system for all taxpayers – especially those that rely on tax agent services – is one of his key priorities. The joint accounting bodies believe that the introduction of the new tax agent services regime heralds the first significant step on the path towards reform of Australia’s tax system.

The joint accounting bodies will work closely with the soon-to-be-announced Tax Practitioner’s Board in order to support them in getting on with the task of educating and transitioning the tax profession into this new regulatory framework from around 1 January 2010.