Kent Hacker has been sentenced to seven months in prison and his company was issued a $5,000 fine for continuing to lodge client tax returns despite a court order stopping him from doing so.
Hacker had previously been ordered by the court to stop acting as a tax agent along with his company One Stop Global Staffing.
It was granted by the court in December 2020 but just over a month later in January 2021, the ATO identified that Hacker was continuing to lodge returns.
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The Tax Practitioners Board (TPB) charged Hacker and his company with contempt of court for breaching the orders by preparing two client tax returns for a fee.
The move was characterised by the court as “wilful and flagrant” and demonstrated a “blatant indifference” to the orders.
And this is not the first time Hacker has engaged in similar behaviours.
In February 2019 the TPB launched Federal Court action against him and his companies after evidence surfaced that he had been preparing and lodging tax returns for thousands of taxpayers while he was unregistered.
Despite giving an undertaking to the court that he would stop, he continued providing the services to clients.
The TPB sought a court order forcing Hacker to display large notices at his offices warning taxpayers against using his services.
In June 2020, the Federal Court ruled that Hacker and his businesses had repeatedly been in contempt of court and broke the law 87 times combined.
In December 2020, he was sentenced to seven and a half months in prison and his related companies were fined over $640,000.
Chair of the TPB, Ian Klug said Hacker was a repeat offender who has consistently shown wilful disregard and contempt of court orders for over two years.
“The TPB strongly supports the additional term of imprisonment and fine handed down to his company.”
“These types of criminal actions not only put the public at risk, but also undermine community confidence in the services and reputation of the tax profession. The TPB hope this serves as a deterrent to other unregistered preparers who believe they can operate outside of the law and take payment for tax agent services without TPB registration.”