A certified public accountant and a firm ordered to pay penalty for MPF breach

A Disciplinary Committee of the Hong Kong Institute of Certified Public Accountants (HKICPA) reprimanded Tam Tak Kuen, Alfred, certified public accountant (membership number F02942) and Alfred T.K. Tam & Co. (firm number 1475) on Jan 16, 2018, said the accountancy body on Monday.

In addition, the committee ordered the two respondents to pay jointly and severally a penalty of HK$414,463.40 and costs of the disciplinary proceedings of HK$32,781, according to HKICPA in a statement.

Tam was the sole proprietor of Alfred T.K. Tam & Co., a firm which is now de-registered. In the period from February 2012 to August 2016, Tam and the firm breached their employer's obligation to make provident fund contributions for employees under the Mandatory Provident Fund Schemes Ordinance on three occasions.

The breaches affected a number of employees and, on one occasion, occurred over a period of about 28 months. As a result of the breaches, Tam and the firm were ordered by relevant authorities to pay fines totaling HK$127,000 in addition to contributions in arrears and surcharges, said HKICPA.

Having taken into account the circumstances of the case including the respondents' conduct in the proceedings where they showed a lack of remorse, the Disciplinary Committee made the above order under section 35(1) of the ordinance, HKICPA noted.

The committee noted the seriousness of the respondents' failure to meet their statutory obligation on multiple occasions and the possibility of them committing the offence again in future. In the circumstances, the Committee considered a heavy sanction should be imposed to deter the Institute's members from bringing disrepute to the profession and to maintain public confidence in the profession.