Following an audit and subsequent referral by the Australian Taxation Office (ATO), the Tax Practitioners Board (TPB) undertook an extensive investigation resulting in the registration of Gold-Coast based tax agent Edward Mark Purnell-Webb and his business Superannuation Administration Specialists (QLD) Pty Ltd being terminated and both were banned for four years.
Mr Purnell-Webb had lodged more than 170 returns for self-managed superannuation fund (SMSF) clients where he claimed the funds had been independently audited, but the investigation found no audit had been conducted. Therefore, the TPB considered that Mr Purnell-Webb had undermined the superannuation system and was no longer trustworthy to perform the functions of a registered tax agent.
Speaking about the case, TPB Chair Mr Ian Klug AM said, ‘Mr Purnell-Well has shown himself to be a risk to consumers. The TPB has an important role in consumer protection and maintaining the integrity of the tax practitioner profession. Misconduct of this kind undermines the integrity of the entire SMSF regulatory regime.’
‘This decision serves as a warning to other tax practitioners who may be thinking of engaging in this kind of egregious behaviour.’
In a separate investigation, the TPB has also reviewed 74 tax agents referred to them by the ATO for potentially reporting incorrect SMSF Auditor Numbers.
ATO Deputy Commissioner John Ford said, ‘Approved SMSF auditors have a critical role in helping to maintain the health and integrity of the SMSF sector through the annual audit of each SMSF.’
‘SMSF trustees deserve to have confidence in the integrity of tax professionals. They expect them to accurately report their information to the ATO. By disregarding the strict rules, they are not only breaking the law but they are also letting down trustees who have entrusted their affairs to be handled professionally’, Mr Ford said.
How can we help?
If your SMSF has been effected the TPB’s announcement, please call us to arrange a time to meet so that we can discuss fund’s particular circumstances in more detail and any implications to the ongoing compliance of your fund.