TPB FAQs – COVID-19 Stimulus Measures and Code Obligations

The Tax Practitioners Board has released an excellent frequently asked questions page addressing common concerns from tax professionals about issues relating to the Code of Professional Conduct.

We are hearing concerns that BAS agents may be liable for a breach of the code if they mistake a client’s projection or get it incorrect. This is not necessarily the case, because if the agent has acted in good faith and taken reasonable care to apply the law and ascertain a client’s state of affairs then the agent will have followed the code of conduct.

If a projected turnover later turns out to be wrong, the initial projection will be accepted unless there is evidence of fraud. The ATO may investigate and ask for proof of the basis of calculations and estimates.

The FAQs page reinforces the message that an agent should retain all records pertaining to the JobKeeper enrolment and declarations.

There is also a good reminder that agents must not disclose information to a third party (which the ATO is considered to be), without the consent of the client. Lodging monthly declarations on behalf of the client requires the agent by law to have a signed declaration authorising the agent to do this.

Visit the TPB webpage Frequently asked questions – COVID-19 stimulus measures and Code obligations for more details.