Tax Agent Registration and Regulation: A Cross-Tasman Contrast

Thomson Reuters
Publication Type:
Journal Article
New Zealand Journmal of Taxation Law and Policy, 2010, 16 (4), pp. 395 - 416
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Australia has recently introduced a detailed and prescriptive legislative regime for the registration and regulation of tax agents. By contrast, the New Zealand regime for the registration of tax agents has a minimal legislative component. This article examines the divergent approaches taken in each country, and proffers some suggestions as to the development of these differences. The article outlines the legislative approaches to the regulation of tax agents in Australia under the Tax Agent Services Act 2009, and in New Zealand under s 34B Tax Administration Act 1994. The Australian legislation and associated regulations give responsibility for the registration and regulation of tax practitioners to the newly created Tax Practitioners Board, with prescriptive conditions to be met for registration as a tax practitioner, a code of professional conduct by which practitioners must abide, and a range of sanctions for failure to meet these conditions. In New Zealand, the responsibility for the operation of the system rests with the Commissioner of Inland Revenue, who has a discretion as to the listing of an agent, or removal of an agent from the list. Given such divergent legislative approaches, the article examines the possible reasons for the development of these different approaches.
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