Tax Agent Services Act & Tax Practitioners Board

The Tax Agent Services Act (TASA) was passed in 2009 and the TASA regime commenced in March 2010 for tax agents and BAS agents. 

The Tax Agent Services Act (TASA) was passed in 2009 and the TASA regime commenced in March 2010 for tax agents and BAS agents. In 2014 financial advisers also became subject to TASA and are known under the Act as, ‘Tax (Financial) Advisers’.  Tax (financial) advisers (TFAs) are subject to specific education, experience and conduct requirements under the TASA regime.  For details click on the links below. The regulator for the TASA regime is the Tax Practitioners Board (TPB). www.tpb.gov.au

The AFA is a Recognised Tax (Financial) Adviser Association (RTFAA)

Being a member of a Recognised Tax (Financial) Adviser Association gives members access to a registration option (i.e. Item 304) that recognises experience. If you have 6 out of the last 8 years’ experience and are a member of a Recognised Tax (Financial) Adviser Association, you are not required to have completed the Australian Taxation Law or Commercial Law subjects.

To register as an individual Tax (Financial) Adviser (TFA)

Who needs to register? https://www.tpb.gov.au/who-needs-register-tax-financial-adviser

Do you qualify? https://www.tpb.gov.au/qas

Apply to register https://www.tpb.gov.au/apply-register

What is required to register as an individual TFA? https://www.tpb.gov.au/register-individual-tax-financial-adviser

Which of the four registration options (items 301, 302, 303, 304) is appropriate for you? https://www.tpb.gov.au/qualifications-and-experience-tax-financial-advisers#Decision%20tree

Qualifications and experience required for TFAs https://www.tpb.gov.au/qualifications-and-experience-tax-financial-advisers

All TFA’s are required to be covered by Professional indemnity insurance. The TPB’s Professional indemnity insurance requirements https://www.tpb.gov.au/explanatory-paper-tpbep-052014-professional-indemnity-insurance-requirements-tax-financial-advisers

What are the application fees payable? https://www.tpb.gov.au/search/Fees

Frequently asked questions https://www.tpb.gov.au/frequently-asked-questions-tax-financial-advisers

Maintaining your registration (Renewal)

Annual declaration https://www.tpb.gov.au/annual-declaration-tax-financial-advisers

All TFA’s are required to undertake continuing professional education. The requirement is 60 hours per triennium and a minimum of 7 hours every year https://www.tpb.gov.au/cpe-tax-financial-advisers

Renewing your tax (financial) adviser registration https://www.tpb.gov.au/renew-your-tax-financial-advisers-registration

All TFA’s are bound by the TPB Code of Professional Conduct https://www.tpb.gov.au/code-professional-conduct-tax-financial-advisers

Change of your details or circumstances https://www.tpb.gov.au/changes-TFA

Ending your registration

Cancelling your registration https://www.tpb.gov.au/cancel-your-registration-tax-financial-adviser

Why the TPB may terminate your registration https://www.tpb.gov.au/terminating-your-registration-tax-financial-adviser

What if you are a registered tax agent or BAS agent?

If you are registered as a tax agent or BAS agent, you will need to comply with the registration renewal requirements for a Registered Tax Agent or BAS Agent respectively.

If you are a fully registered tax agent or a registered tax agent with a condition of financial planning, your registration already covers the provision of tax (financial) advice services and there is no requirement to register as a TFA. However, you may still register as a TFA if you wish.

What happens if you leave it too late?

You must be registered with the TPB if you provide a tax (financial) advice service for a fee or other reward.

If you fail to renew your registration on time you will no longer be able to legally provide tax (financial) advice services for a fee or other reward. You must apply to renew at least 30 days before your registration expires.

As the Best Interests Duty requires advisers who provide personal financial advice to ensure that clients understand all of the relevant consequences – including taxation consequences – of their recommendations, this means you risk being sanctioned by the TPB if you provide personal advice after the deadline to renew without validly renewing.

TPB Registered Tax Practitioner Symbol

If your registration renewal application is approved, you will have access to the TPB Registered Tax Practitioner Symbol (more information about the symbol is available from the TPB’s website at www.tpb.gov.au or by contacting the TPB on 1300 362 829.

How can the AFA help?

The AFA is one of the TPB - Recognised Tax Financial Adviser Associations.  We are here to help AFA members understand what their obligations are. If you have any questions, contact our membership team at info@afa.asn.au.

The history of AFA’s engagement on TASA is set out below:

7 June 2019 - AFA Submission on TPB Practice Note Transfers of Business by Tax (Financial) Advisers and Confidentiality

7 June 2019 - AFA Submission on TPB Practice Note Letters of Engagement 

16 October 2017 - Outsourcing, Offshoring and the Code of Professional Conduct

26 Feb 2015 - AFA Submission to the TPB - Sufficient and Relevant Experience

19 Sept 2014 - AFA Submission to the TPB - Course Requirements

19 Aug 2014 - AFA Submission to the TPB - Fees and Sufficient Numbers

10 July 2014 - AFA submission to Treasury - Regulations

17 April 2014 - Joint AFA, FSC and ABA Submission to the TPB - 17 April 2014

12 July 2013 - Treasury Response - TASA Regulation

14 June 2013 - AFA PJC Submission - Tax Agent Services Act 

21 May 2013 - TPB response - Australian Tax Course

12 March 2013 - Treasury Submission: Tax Agent Services Act