Newsletter from the Tax Practitioners Board
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Issue 44 | July 2020 - Tax Time special edition
Tax Time News

Are you ready for tax time?

Now that tax time is here, there are a few things you can do to make sure you’re prepared. We recommend you:
  • update your client list with the Australian Taxation Office (ATO)
  • check you clients’ lodgement program due dates
  • let the ATO know if your client doesn’t need to lodge a tax return
  • create or review your client engagement letters
  • review your security measures to prevent fraud.

Learn more.

Be cyber aware!

It’s probably no surprise that during tax time, cyber criminals are highly active. Agents of government services like you, have access to personal information on behalf of your clients. This makes you a very attractive target for cyber criminals. If yours or your client's data is lost or compromised, it can be very difficult and sometimes very costly to recover. Find out what you can do to protect your clients and your business.

Learn more.

Know your client

Criminals are becoming more sophisticated in committing fraud by stealing the identities of consumers and then posing as them to steal tax refunds and superannuation. If you have a new client requesting your services, make sure you carefully check their proof of identity documents before acting on their behalf. This way, you’ll be complying with the Code of Professional Conduct (Code item 9), by taking reasonable care to ascertain your client’s state of affairs.

Learn more.

Your personal tax affairs

Are your personal tax affairs up to date? Don’t forget that tax time means not only lodging your clients’ tax obligations on time, but also your own and any related entities. If you don’t, you risk breaching the Code of Professional Conduct (Code item 2). Make sure you:
  • lodge your personal income tax returns on time
  • lodge your instalment or business activity statements on time
  • pay your tax bill or enter into a payment arrangement with the ATO.
Learn more.

Engagement letters

Now is the perfect time to create or review your engagement letters with your clients. Engagement letters are a great way for you to set out the terms and conditions for the services you provide. They also ensure your client understands what to expect from you and avoids uncertainty and misunderstandings, particularly over fees. Read our suggestions on what you might consider including in an engagement letter.

Learn more.

Help your clients understand their obligations

To help you with your tax time conversations this year, we’ve created a factsheet you can use to provide to your clients. The factsheet will help your clients understand their obligations to you and the ATO. It will also help them understand what your obligations are as a tax practitioner. There are some interesting scenarios included that you can use to discuss with your clients and help them understand what is expected of them.

Learn more.

Unregistered service providers campaign

We're warning the public about the risk of using an unregistered tax or BAS agent. Consumers of tax practitioner services risk being exposed to fraud or unexpected tax liabilities and penalties. We’re encouraging consumers to check our TPB Register to make sure they’re using a registered tax practitioner. Our Register also includes more information about tax practitioners, such as detailed reasons for any sanctions and renewal rejections. This enables consumers to be more informed and supports the majority of tax practitioners operating legally and ethically.

Learn more.

Show your symbol

Display your registered tax practitioner symbol (symbol) to give clients the confidence you are registered and meet the required professional standards. The symbol is free to download and is a great way to promote your services to clients. You can use it on your website, stationery, engagement letters, advertisements, brochures, shopfronts and any other documents you produce. You must include your registration number and type of registration when you display your symbol.

Download now.


Check our guidance on the Government’s COVID-19 stimulus package to support your clients. We have a list of frequently asked questions (FAQs) which will be updated regularly to ensure you have the most recent information. We’ve also created a COVID-19 stimulus package factsheet you can pass onto your clients to help them understand the stimulus measures and their obligations. To help support you, the ATO has also developed a range of support measures for tax practitioners, including lodgement and payment deferrals.

Learn more.

COVID-19 tip off

No doubt there will be a small number of clients and tax practitioners trying to take advantage of the Government’s COVID-19 stimulus package. If you know of anyone trying to do this, let us know. You can report them through our hotline (1300 362 829) or mailbox ( All reports will be treated confidentially, so let’s work together to ensure the Government measures are applied correctly and are helping the community get through this crisis.

Learn more.

Your client's tax return

The ATO will keep you up to date with the progress of your client’s tax return. You can check the Status, Outcome and Reason for any delays online using ATO’s Online services for agents or via the Tax return status report. This will help you manage your clients’ expectations about when they will receive their notice of assessment based on their individual circumstances.

Learn more.

Mental health matters

During this busy and uncertain time, we understand you may feel overwhelmed, anxious and stressed. Your mental health is important and we encourage you to practice self-care. If you’re struggling, seek professional help. Beyond Blue have some great services and are currently offering a dedicated COVID-19 Support Service. This service offers free counselling by mental health professionals for all people in Australia 24 hours a day, seven days a week, both online and over the phone.
Learn more.
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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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