On the 11th December 2018 the Tax Practitioners Board (TPB) announced that they would be working closely with the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) to connect with registered tax practitioners who had personal tax and BAS obligations outstanding for their own income tax returns and business activity statements.  In the first instance the TPB announced they would be seeking action from practitioners to bring their affairs into order within six weeks (around February 2019) or risk further disciplinary action under the provisions set out in the Tax Agent Services Act (TASA) and the Tax Agent Services Regulations (TASR).

The AAT Australia has had some correspondence from members that they have received letters from the TPB advising them they have outstanding personal tax matters to attend to, however, some members have advised they are unaware of any outstanding obligations.  The TPB's Acting Chair, Greg Lewis, has advised that members should:

1. Review their tax obligations to determine if any of these obligations are outstanding; and  

2. Where tax practitioners have identified outstanding tax obligations, they commence immediate action to rectify these outstanding matters. This could include: 

  • lodgements of outstanding relevant returns and statements; and/or
  • from a debt perspective, payment of outstanding debts, or entering into an agreed payment arrangement with the ATO.

Mr Lewis advised that 
"over coming weeks, the TPB will refresh its ATO data on tax professionals who have outstanding obligations. 
"We will then contact those tax practitioners who still have outstanding tax obligation, advising them to contact the ATO to address any unresolved tax obligations.  
"Should the matters remain unresolved after this further contact, the TPB is likely to commence an investigation into their conduct" said Mr Lewis.

Specific advice for recipients of the 'Overdue personal tax lodgements and debts' email from the TPB


What to do

You have a question about the status of your outstanding tax obligations.


Contact the ATO on 13 72 86. Do not contact the TPB as it is unable to assist.

You have confirmed your status with the ATO and you do not have any outstanding tax obligations.


No action is required and you should disregard the TPB’s letter of 22 January 2019.

You had an outstanding debt with the ATO, but have now entered into an agreed payment arrangement.

No action is required, but it important that you continue to meet your obligations under the payment arrangement.


You have outstanding tax obligations with the ATO.

For lodgement, you need to file the outstanding returns or statements. For debt, you need to make the payment, or contact the ATO regarding payment arrangement options.

You have contacted the ATO to discuss your situation and you are waiting for a response from the ATO (for example, to see if a request for a payment arrangement is approved).

No further action is required at this stage. However, you must ensure that as soon as you hear back from the ATO you take the necessary steps to settle your outstanding tax obligations.


All your tax affairs are up to date, but you have not yet lodged your 2018 income tax return, because it is not yet due under your tax agent’s lodgement program.


No further action is required as your 2018 income tax return is not outstanding.


You have concerns about how your registration as a tax practitioner with the TPB may be impacted.

Contact the TPB via the Contact us’ form on their website.



If you are in any doubt about your meeting your personal tax obligations we urge you to contact the ATO as soon as possible.