Media release

Bookkeepers and tax agents to check new registration requirements

30 March 2010

Small business owners and individuals working as bookkeepers or tax consultants need to familiarise themselves with the new registration requirements of the Tax Agent Act 2009, which came into effect on 1 March 2010.

The new framework, which replaces six state based Tax Agents’ Boards with a single, national Tax Practitioners Board, requires bookkeepers (other than employees) who prepare business activity statements (BAS) to be registered as BAS agents.

According to Small Business Development Corporation Acting Managing Director, Ms Jacky Finlayson, under the old laws, anyone who provided tax advice for a fee needed to be registered asa tax agent.

“Under the new regulations other specialists such as research and development consultants who provide a range of tax agent services will also be required to obtain conditional registration,” Ms Finlayson said.

“The new regime provides a Code of Professional Conduct to ensure agents maintain high standards of honesty, integrity and competence in the tax services they deliver.”

Businesses providing BAS services for a fee on or before 1 March 2010 have six months to notify the Board of their intentions to register. Others need to register now. Online forms are available at

In addition to these changes, taxpayers who lodge returns through registered tax and BAS agent swill in some circumstances, be safeguarded from administrative penalties. This will apply where failure to meet their tax obligations results from a failure by their agent to take reasonable care.

The new Tax Practitioners Board is an independent statutory authority with responsibility for administering the Tax Agent Services Act 2009.

For further information on the Tax Practitioners Board, the Tax Agent Services Act 2009, or your responsibilities, visit the Tax Practitioners Board website at or contact the Small Business Development Corporation on 131 BIZ (131 249).

Media contact: Di Graham (08) 9220 0218 or 0409 089 159.


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