Newsletter from the Tax Practitioners Board
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Issue 24 | March 2018 - General edition

Message from the Chair

As today marks the eighth anniversary of the establishment of the Tax Practitioners Board (TPB), I thought that it might be opportune to reflect on those eight years.

The TPB commenced operations on 1 March 2010 as an independent statutory body created under the Tax Agent Services Act 2009 (TASA) to register and regulate entities providing tax agent services in Australia.
In 2010 there were approximately 26,000 registered tax practitioners, comprised solely of tax agents. These practitioners were transitioned to the TPB regime on 1 March 2010.
Eight years on, over 76,800 tax practitioners are now registered with the TPB. This includes more than 42,100 tax agents, 15,650 BAS agents and 19,100 tax (financial) advisers.
Over this time, Australian tax practitioners have responded well to the regulatory environment and to the challenge of rapidly evolving business practices.

I am pleased to say that more than 99 per cent of tax practitioners are compliant with their obligations under the TASA and the Code of Professional Conduct.

I shared some insights from a review of the more than 11,000 compliance cases the TPB has considered in the first eight years of operations, at the Australasian Tax Teachers Association Conference at Monash University in January this year. This also included the outcomes and learnings from several Federal Court and numerous Administrative Appeals Tribunal matters the TPB has been involved in.
As we enter our ninth year we have made submissions to government reviews and initiatives currently underway or planned, that will impact the TPB and tax and BAS agents. These include the:
  • Black Economy Taskforce led by the Treasury – which highlighted key areas of concern regarding compliance with the tax system, and outlined proposed changes to the environment in which tax practitioners operate.
  • Inspector-General of Taxation (IGT) review into the future of the tax profession – outlining the opportunities and challenges the tax practitioner profession is facing in the short, medium and long term.
The work of the Black Economy Taskforce and its particular focus on tax practitioners represents an opportunity for us to position the TPB as a ‘key player’ in the government regulation environment and we have made submissions accordingly.

We also await the outcome of the IGT review into the future of the tax profession. In our submission to this review we said that the tax practitioner profession currently faces a number of opportunities and challenges as a result of:
  • technological change
  • globalisation
  • client demand for a wider range of services and ‘real-time’ online responses, and
  • generational change.
We have made it clear that a focus on effective consultation and stakeholder engagement with tax practitioners will be required accordingly. The TPB will continue to provide support to registered practitioners in coping with any changes as a result of these reviews. We will keep you updated on the outcomes.

Ian R Taylor
Chair, Tax Practitioners Board

Notifiable Data Breaches scheme

The Notifiable Data Breaches (NDB) scheme, administered by the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner (OAIC) came into effect on 22 February 2018. This scheme requires organisations covered by the Privacy Act to notify the OAIC and affected individuals of eligible data breaches, for example, unauthorised access, loss or disclosure of personal information that could cause serious harm to the affected individual. It is important that all practitioners are aware of their potential responsibilities under this scheme.

Read more about the NDB scheme

Making the most of engagement letters

We encourage tax and BAS agents to use engagement letters to provide a clear, common understanding and communication between you and your clients. It should set out and explain the rights and obligations of both parties. Engagement letters can help to avoid uncertainty and misunderstandings in the work the practitioner undertakes on behalf of the client.

Learn how to best use engagement letters and what to include

Our webinars count for CPE

Get a head start on your continuing professional education (CPE) by attending one of our webinars. We offer a range of topics relevant to your registration as a tax practitioner. Key topics coming up include: 

  • Confidentiality and conflicts – what to do!
  • Emerging issues affecting your practice
  • Your questions answered on CPE
Register for a free webinar

Have your details changed?

If you have made changes to your registration details you must notify the TPB within 30 days. You can now use our simple online form to notify us, including changes to your:

  • practice structure
  • supervising tax practitioner/s
  • professional association membership.

Update your details online

Law changes affect your residential rental property clients

The ATO has provided updated information about tax law changes relating to Rental properties – travel expenses and depreciating assets

Your feedback

We invite your feedback on topics or issues you would like us to address in future editions of TPB eNews.


About the Tax Practitioners Board
The Tax Practitioners Board (TPB) was established to regulate tax practitioners in order to protect consumers. The TPB assures the community that tax practitioners meet the appropriate standards of professional and ethical conduct.
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