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Greens Amendments Aimed at Big Firms Risk Consequences for Tax Professionals in Smaller Firms

CAANZ 2 mins read

The CEO of Chartered Accountants ANZ (CA ANZ) has written to the Treasurer calling for a review of the amendments to the Treasury Laws Amendment (2023 Measures No. 1) Bill 2023 passed by the Lower House yesterday.


“CA ANZ as the peak membership body for the accounting profession supports strong and effective regulation of the tax profession and has always assisted the Government when advice was sought regarding the Tax Practitioners Board (TPB),” said CA ANZ Chief Executive Ainslie van Onselen.


“However, the Green’s amendments passed yesterday afternoon (Thursday) present a very real risk of unintended consequence for our members who do not work in large firms, with many telling us they are being punished for the actions of a few at the top end of town.


“As an example, imposing mandatory reporting obligations on tax practitioners, without providing effective protection against reprisal and defamation claims for those reporting, and without clarifying the availability of the privilege against self-incrimination for self-reported disclosures, is likely to be ineffective or inoperable, and I have written to the Treasurer expressing those concerns on behalf of CA ANZ members.


“At the same time, the proposal to limit the TPB to people who are members of an organisation with fewer than 100 employees also brings significant risk to our profession. Appointments to the TPB should be merit-based; the Board needs suitably qualified members who are experienced in running small practices, but it also needs people who understand how medium and large firms operate.


“Under this proposal the TPB will be deprived of the opportunity to appoint members who have cutting edge information, stripping important strategic skill sets, knowledge bases and insights.”


In her letter Ms van Onselen urged the Government to include a review of the amendments in its two-year reform roadmap, including both policy and administrative aspects.


“The Government should also consider whether the TPB has adequate funding and resources to implement these previously unanticipated changes. The experience with ASIC’s similar reporting regime suggests that the TPB’s administrative workload and systems changes required may be substantial.


“I have offered to meet with the Treasurer to directly convey these concerns, and I will await a response with great interest,” Ms van Onselen said.



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About Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand

Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand represents more than 136,000 financial professionals, supporting them to make a difference to the businesses, organisations and communities in which they work and live. Chartered Accountants are known as Difference Makers. The depth and breadth of their expertise helps them to see the big picture and chart the best course of action.

Contact details:

Gillian Bowen, Public Affairs Manager Australia

M +61 411 485 421


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