Barrister guilty of misconduct over tax failures leads to 3 year suspension
April 5, 2012
The Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal has handed down its finding against barrister Mr Matthew Stirling.
The Legal Services Commissioner brought a charge of professional misconduct against Mr Stirling in the Tribunal for his failure to lodge on time income tax returns and Business Activity Statements and for failure to provide for and pay tax and GST. The conduct related to the financial years between 1996 to 2005.
A charge of unsatisfactory professional conduct was also brought for making a false and misleading statement to the Bar in 2008 when giving further information about a disclosure under rule 197 that he had become an insolvent under administration.
The Tribunal found Mr Stirling guilty of both charges and ordered that his practising certificate be suspended for 3 years, to commence on 18 May 2012. Costs of $28,000 were also ordered against Mr Stirling.
Mr Stirling must also notify the Commissioner of any failure to comply with his tax obligations within 7 days.
For more information download the VCAT decision.