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Newsletter from the Tax Practitioners Board.
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Tax Practitioners Board newsletter
  ISSUE 15  //  June 2016 //  General edition  
 

Message from the Chair

On 1 June, the TPB registered our first legislative instrument, Tax Agent Services (Specified BAS Services) Instrument 2016.

This instrument expands the scope of services for Business Activity Statement (BAS) agents to allow them to provide certain services that extend beyond BAS services, as currently defined in the Tax Agent Services Act 2009.

BAS agents are now able to provide the following additional services:

  • services under the Superannuation guarantee (Administration Act) 1992 to the extent that they relate to a payroll function or payments to contractors,
  • determine and report the superannuation guarantee shortfall amount and any associated administrative fees,
  • deal with superannuation payments made through a clearing house,
  • complete and lodge the Taxable payments annual report to the ATO, on behalf of a client,
  • send a tax file number declaration to the Commissioner, on behalf of a client, and
  • apply to the Registrar for an Australian Business Number, on behalf of a client.

We are aware that there are services provided by BAS agents that don't necessarily fall within the definition of a BAS service. This legislative instrument now allows these services to be included as a BAS service that BAS agents can provide, without the requirement of being a registered tax agent.

For more information, go to our updated BAS services web page.

Ian R Taylor
Chair, Tax Practitioners Board

 

IN THIS ISSUE

 

Be aware of scams this tax time

With scams and fraud on the increase, make sure your practice is secure during tax time.

Registered tax agents need to be aware that scams are on the increase. Cyber-attacks are becoming increasingly sophisticated, so be proactive in managing your security systems and protecting your client information. Ensure that your:

  • computer security systems are up-to-date, that you have appropriate security procedures in place and ensure staff understand and follow them at all times
  • premises and client records and documents (electronic and paper), are secure and protected at all times.

If you take appropriate measures you will be safeguarding your practice, your clients and the tax system as a whole.

We have had previous cases where registered tax agents have been caught up in tax scams resulting in their registration being terminated. These agents failed to undertake necessary checks to ensure the information provided to them was true and correct. Now more than ever, agents need to be vigilant and under the Code of Professional Conduct (Code), they must take reasonable care when engaging new clients to ensure the information provided by their clients is accurate.

 
 

Failing to renew your registration affects your business

You need to apply to renew your registration at least 30 days before it expires. We send you reminder emails to renew and it is important that you act on them promptly.

If you fail to renew on time your registration expires and you will need to reapply to register. This means you cannot provide tax agent or BAS services until your new registration application is approved.

Learn about the other impacts of failing to renew

 
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Report unregistered service provider activities

During tax time, if you notice any activities, including online advertisements by a potentially unregistered service provider, please report it to us.

You can make a complaint about unregistered service providers by completing our online complaints form.

What to look out for this tax time

 
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Relevant experience when renewing your registration

When you apply to renew your registration, you need to provide details of your relevant experience in the online renewal form, including:

  • whether your relevant experience includes substantial involvement in:
    • one or more types of tax agent or BAS services
    • a particular area of taxation law to which one or more of those types of tax agent services relate
  • the period during which you provided those services
  • the number of hours per week spent in providing those services (if not full time)
  • an estimate of the number of tax returns or statements you have completed
  • any other relevant information regarding your experience.

Learn more about relevant experience

 
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Free upcoming webinar

Join us for a free webinar on 5 July about how you can adapt to changing business practices while continuing to meet your obligations under the TASA, including the Code of Professional Conduct. Note attendance assists you in meeting your continuing professional education requirements.

Register at www.tpb.gov.au/webinars

 
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Need help using the ATO's portals?

The ATO has released new guides and videos to help you with using the tax and BAS agent portals.

Visit the ATO wesbite
 
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Consultative forum

We held our TPB consultative forum with the recognised tax agent and BAS agent associations in Sydney on 6 April 2016 and the following key points were discussed:

  • The new Board has been in place since 22 January 2016.
  • As at the end of February 2016, 708 compliance cases had been finalised.
  • The number of complaints and referrals received year to date as at the end of February 2016 had increased slightly in comparison to the previous year.
  • Legal formalities have been completed to extend use of the registered symbol for tax (financial) advisers.
  • We will be continuing with our project to undertake activity targeting unregistered entities who advertise BAS services while unregistered.
  • The annual declaration process commenced from late 2015 for registered tax and BAS agents and this has been supported through communication activities.
  • Policy matters including the Exposure drafts for tax (financial) advisers, BAS services legislative instrument and cloud computing.
 
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What would you like covered in eNews?

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

Provide your feedback

 
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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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© Copyright 2016. You are free to adapt, modify, transmit and distribute this material as you wish (but not in any way that suggests the TPB or the Commonwealth endorses you and any of your services or products).