3 May 2024

Consultation commences on regulation of the tax and accounting sectors

The Albanese Government is acting to rebuild resilience and confidence in our tax and accounting sectors.

Treasury has today released two consultation papers on the adequacy of current settings.

The PwC tax leaks matter exposed the fragmented nature of current regulatory settings. The current frameworks provide insufficient governance and transparency to incentivise good corporate behaviour, and insufficient ability for our regulators to identify misconduct.

The first paper seeks views on the regulations for accounting, audit and consulting firms that keep our capital markets strong, including:

  • governance and transparency requirements
  • managing conflicts of interest
  • whether there is sufficient competition and resilience in the sector
  • whether enforcement is strong enough.

The second paper invites views on stronger information gathering powers for the Australian Taxation Office and the Tax Practitioners Board to support investigations into misconduct against the tax and super systems. It is critical that our tax regulators are equipped to detect, respond to, and deter the type of conduct that occurred in the PwC tax scandal.

As two of eight Treasury‑led reviews announced by the Government in its response to the PwC matter, these consultations will help ensure that regulatory settings remain fit for purpose.

They follow two packages of reforms that were passed into law in Treasury Laws Amendment (2023 Measures No. 1) 2023, and introduced to parliament in the Treasury Laws Amendment (Fairness and Accountability) Bill 2023.

Consultations on tax regulator information gathering powers and regulation of accounting, auditing and consulting firms in Australia are available on the Treasury website.