Former Wattle Health chair banned for hiding $35m income

Former Wattle Health chair banned for hiding $35m income

Tax agent Peter Biantes has been banned from practicing for up to five years after the Tax Practitioners Board (TPB) found he had tried to hide a $35 million windfall from the sale of a cheese business abroad.

Biantes, who resigned from the board and his role as interim chairman at Wattle Health (ASX: WHA) last week citing health reasons, was caught out attempting to conceal the income from the $48 million sale of cheese producer Lemnos Foods. 

The TPB has terminated Biantes' tax agent registration after finding he intentionally misled the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) and obstructed the proper administration of the taxation laws.

The board also claims he made false statements in two of his annual declarations and an application for renewal of registration.

"Through serious and repeated misconduct, Mr Biantes attempted to undermine the integrity of the taxation system,"  says TPB chair Ian Klug AM.

"Terminating and banning an agent from applying for registration is the firmest sanction that can be imposed by the Board and is never taken lightly. The severity of Mr Biantes' conduct requires the maximum ban to be imposed.

"The TPB is committed to targeting practitioners who undertake, or facilitate, black economy behaviour and tax evasion through schemes such as offshoring and failing to declare proceeds and profits. Where we discover this behaviour, we will act swiftly and take strong action."

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