Tax

Tax agents terminated over allegations they stole money from clients

Matthew Elmas /

Two registered tax agents have been terminated by the ATO over allegations they did not pass on tax refunds to their clients.

After reports surfaced late last year that Western Australia-based Nicoh Group and QTR Accountants weren’t paying tax refunds to clients, the ATO and the Tax Practitioners Board launched an investigation.

After receiving 19 initial complaints about the companies, which offered their services online through websites such as Quicktax and Online Tax Return, an additional 200 complaints were received during the investigation.

QTR’s tax license was actually terminated late last December, a little over three years after the business registered as a tax agent.

Online reviews for Quicktax detail dozens of customer complaints, with some claiming to have lost over $4000 getting their tax done through the online portals.

“They lodge my tax without my permission and put it on their own bank account!! And now I’m badly needed my refund because I just gave birth, I asked my personal tax agent to lodge it and I just knew it that quick tax online/online tax return refund my money without my permission!!! And now I kept calling them and emailing no one is answering me!” One customer, verified by productreview.com.au, wrote.

Ian Taylor, chair of the Tax Practitioners Board, said the type of behaviour allegedly undertaken by QTR and Nicoh would “not be tolerated”.

“Tax practitioners must meet strict standards of fitness and propriety to register with the TPB, and we expect that they will continue to meet these standards,” Taylor said in a statement on Thursday.

“It is extremely disappointing that registered tax practitioners showed such disregard for the professional and ethical standards we aim to uphold.”

SmartCompany contacted Nicoh Group’s managing director for comment but did not receive a response prior to publication. QTR Accountants could not be reached for comment.

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Matthew Elmas

Matthew is the news editor at SmartCompany. You can contact him at [email protected].

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