Inland Revenue will get more say over who is fit to be a tax agent under new powers proposed in a Government discussion paper.
The paper reviews tax compliance and penalty rules and suggests relaxing some penalties where there has been genuine consistent attempts to meet the rules, while extending others.
It proposes tougher criteria and scrutiny for tax agents, with the IRD Commissioner getting the discretion to bar an agent to protect the integrity of the tax system.
Potential grounds for disqualification may include a history of non-compliance in an agent’s own tax affairs, any convictions for dishonesty, breaches of professional rules, and bankruptcy or insolvency.
At the moment IRD has only limited restrictions on who can be a tax agent, and cannot refuse a listing even if an agent has a long record of tax breaches or has been convicted of serious dishonesty offences.