Australia’s crackdown on tax adviser misconduct

The Australian federal government is seeking to fix loopholes and severe shortcomings in the nation’s financial systems exposed by the PwC scandal.

Penalties for promoting tax avoidance schemes will be increased tenfold and financial regulators will get much stronger powers.

Treasurer, Jim Chalmers described the plan as “the biggest crackdown on tax adviser misconduct in Australian history”, stressing that advisers and firms promoting tax exploitation schemes would face fines up to $780m, while red tape that hamstrung regulators from better investigating PwC will be slashed.

“Tax agents and others who advise their clients to avoid Australia’s tax laws must be penalised,” Chalmers said.

In a joint statement on Sunday, Chalmers, the finance minister, Katy Gallagher, the attorney general, Mark Dreyfus, and the assistant treasurer, Stephen Jones, announced a further sweeping response to the PwC tax leak and the broader issues it raised.