BAS service is defined in the Tax Agent Services Act 2009 (TASA) as:
- ascertaining or advising about the liabilities, obligations or entitlements of a client under a BAS provision; or
- representing a client in their dealings with the Commissioner of Taxation in relation to a BAS provision; and
- where it is reasonable to expect a client will rely on the service to satisfy liabilities or obligations or to claim entitlements under a BAS provision.
The term ‘BAS provision’ is defined in Income Tax Assessment Act 1997 as:
- Part VII (collection and recovery only) of the Fringe Benefits Tax Assessment Act 1986
- the indirect tax laws, including
- the goods and services tax (GST) law
- the wine tax law
- the luxury car tax law
- the fuel tax law, and
- Parts 2-5 and 2-10 in schedule 1 of the Tax Administration Act 1953, which are about the pay as you go (PAYG) system.
The TASA also provides that the Tax Practitioners Board may, by legislative instrument, specify that another service is a BAS service.
There are significant civil penalties for anyone providing BAS services for a fee or reward, or advertising BAS services, while unregistered.
For detailed information about the meaning of BAS service, refer to section 90-10 of the TASA.
We've registered the following legislative instruments that extend the scope of services that registered BAS agents can provide:
- Tax Agent Services (Specified BAS Services No.1) Instrument 2020 - this instrument, registered on 15 April 2020, allows BAS agents to provide certain services under the Australian Government's COVID-19 stimulus measures.
- Tax Agent Services (Specified BAS Services) Instrument 2016— this instrument, registered on 1 June 2016, allows BAS agents to provide certain services related to superannuation guarantee.
From 16 April 2020, BAS agents can legally provide advice and assist eligible businesses to claim their entitlements under the JobKeeper Payment and Cashflow support for business initiatives.
The legislative instrument, Tax Agent Services (Specified BAS Services No.1) Instrument 2020, declares the following services to be a BAS service:
- a service under the Boosting Cash Flow for Employers (Coronavirus Economic Response Package) Act 2020
- a service under the Coronavirus Economic Response Package (Payments and Benefits) Act 2020
- a service under any rules that the Treasurer may, by legislative instrument, make pursuant to section 20 of the Coronavirus Economic Response Package (Payments and Benefits) Act 2020
- a service under any legislative instrument made under subsections(b) and (c).
Refer to the explanatory statement of this instrument for further information.
The legislative instrument — Tax Agent Services (Specified BAS Services) Instrument 2016 — allows BAS agents 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
- determining and reporting the superannuation guarantee shortfall amount and any associated administrative fees
- dealing with superannuation payments made through a clearing house
- completing and lodging the Taxable payments annual report to the ATO, on behalf of a client
- sending a tax file number declaration to the Commissioner, on behalf of a client
- applying to the Register for an Australian Business Number, on behalf of a client.
An explanatory statement accompanies this legislative instrument.
This table includes a non-exhaustive list of the types of services that may and may not constitute a BAS service under the TASA.
|Service||BAS service||Not a tax agent service or BAS service|
|Applying to the Registrar for an ABN on behalf of a client.||X|
|Installing computer accounting software without determining default GST and other codes tailored to the client.||X|
|Coding transactions, tax invoices and transferring data onto a computer program for clients through processes that require the interpretation or application of a BAS provision.||X|
|Coding transactions, tax invoices and transferring data onto a computer program for clients through processes that do not require the interpretation or application of a BAS provision.||X|
|Confirming figures to be included on a client’s activity statement.||X|
|Completing activity statements on behalf of an entity or instructing the entity which figures to include.||X|
|General training in relation to the use of computerised accounting software not related to client's particular circumstances.||X|
Preparing bank reconciliations.
|Entering data without involvement in or calculation of figures to be included on a client's activity statement.||X|
|Providing advice about or confirming the withholding tax obligations for the employees of a client.||X|
|Services declared to be a BAS service by way of a legislative instrument issued by the TPB.||X|
|Preparating and providing an income statement that may include reportable fringe benefits amounts and the reportable employer superannuation contributions.||X|
|Registering or providing advice on registration for GST or PAYG withholding.||X|
|Services under the Superannuation Guarantee (Administration) Act 1992 to the extent that they relate to a payroll function or payments to contractors.||X|
|Determining and reporting the superannuation guarantee shortfall and associated administrative fees.||X|
|Dealing with superannuation payments made through a clearing house.||X|
|Completing and lodging the Taxable payments annual report to the ATO on behalf of a client.||X|
|Sending a TFN declaration to the Commissioner on behalf of a client.||X|
Transmitting data to the Commissioner through single touch payroll (STP) enabled software, where the data transmission doesnotrequire the interpretation or application of a BAS provision.
|Providing a payroll service which involves interpreting and applying a BAS provision, including reporting of employee payroll information through the use of STP enabled software.||X|
|Undertaking a payroll compliance review, providing an assessment and/or opinion whether the client is compliant with one or more BAS provisions.||X|
|Determining eligibility, providing advice and assisting eligible clients to elect to participate in the JobKeeper Payments scheme.||X|
|Determining eligibility, providing advice and assisting eligible clients in relation to their Cashflow boost entitlements.||X|
Conveyancers may need to register with the TPB to assist their clients with GST on certain property transactions.
For further information refer to Conveyancers and GST withholding for certain taxable supplies of property
Where a service trust or labour hire entity provides services to a client and the client can reasonably be expected to rely upon the service to satisfy their liabilities or obligations or claim entitlements under a BAS provision, the service trust or labour hire entity may be providing a BAS service and be required to register as a BAS agent.
Generally, a service trust or labour hire entity is unlikely to be required to register where there is another registered entity (including a registered individual) which is providing the BAS service and it is that entity which is directing the services being performed by the personnel provided by the service trust or labour hire entity.
If you operate a labour hire/on-hire firm and are unsure if you are required to be registered, please refer TPB information sheet Labour hire/on-hire firms TPB(I) 26/2016
If you operate a service trust and are unsure if you are required to be registered, contact us
You can apply for BAS agent registration as:
Last modified: 16 April 2020