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Board approved courses requirements for tax (financial) advisers

Board approved courses requirements for tax (financial) advisers

Due to the current impact of COVID-19, we have updated our policy on the assessment requirements for Board approved courses. For further details, refer to Board approved course requirements – concessions for COVID-19

To become a registered tax (financial) adviser, an individual may be required to have successfully completed a:

  • Board approved course in Australian taxation law
  • Board approved course in commercial law
  • Board approved unit in the Tax Agent Services Act 2009 (TASA), including the Code of Professional Conduct (Code).

A Board approved course/unit must be undertaken with an approved course provider, which includes:

  • universities
  • registered training organisations (RTOs), such as TAFEs
  • other registered higher education institutions
  • other course providers approved by the Board.


Australian taxation law

Commercial law

TASA, including the Code

Mix and match approach to Board approved courses

Search for Board approved courses and units


Australian taxation law

The information below summarises the key requirements for a Board approved course in Australian taxation law:

Topics

  • Concepts of: income, deductions, tax offsets/rebates, residence, source, including the principles of the taxation of negative gearing, fixed income investments, capital allowances and income protection/ replacement
  • Tax treatment of: individuals, partnerships, companies and trusts including treatment of imputation credits, deferred and tax free trust distributions
  • Employee remuneration including fringe benefits tax, salary packaging, termination payments and employee share schemes
  • Capital gains tax (CGT), including CGT event A1 happening on disposal of an asset, the CGT discounts, the CGT consequences of death (estate planning) and the main residence exemption (and its application to investment properties), the availability of CGT concessions for small business, roll-overs, deemed disposals and gifts
  • Superannuation: key areas concerning taxation of contributions, fund earnings and benefits. At times expert advice may need to be sought on self-managed superannuation funds (SMSFs) and more detailed topics
  • Tax anti-avoidance provisions (especially those relating to promoter penalties)
  • Ethical and professional responsibilities of tax (financial) advisers including obligations under the TASA and TASR

In addition, the course should cover the following areas of taxation law at a basic awareness level:

  • Goods and services tax
  • Tax administration including assessments, amendments and objections

Duration

One tertiary level subject

Minimum education level

Diploma level (Australian Qualifications Framework level 5 criteria)

Assessment requirements

At least 40% of the assessment for the entire course should be undertaken under some form of independent supervision.

More information

For more information refer to Course in Australian taxation law that is approved by the Board for tax (financial) advisers

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Commercial law

The information below summarises the key requirements for a Board approved course in commercial law:

Topics


The course must cover at least the following key areas:

  • Introductory contract law
  • Fundamental legal concepts of business organisational structures (that is, sole traders, partnerships, corporations and trusts) and the underlying regulation of those structures
  • Aspects of the law of torts (in particular, negligence and negligent misstatement) and the key provisions of the Competition and Consumer Act 1910, including those relating to misleading and deceptive conduct.

Duration

One tertiary level subject

Minimum education level

Diploma level (Australian Qualifications Framework level 5 criteria)

Assessment requirements

At least 40% of the assessment for the entire course should be undertaken under some form of independent supervision.

More information

For more information refer to Course in commercial law that is approved by the Board for tax (financial) advisers

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TASA, including the Code

If you are required to have completed a Board approved course in Australian taxation law, you must ensure that your course includes a component of study in the TASA, including the Code.

If your course does not include a component of study in this topic area, you will be required to have completed a separate unit in the TASA, including the Code.

The information below summarises the key requirements for a unit in the TASA, including the Code:

Topics

  • The objects of the TASA
  • Registration process and eligibility requirements under the TASA, including knowledge of:
    • the fit and proper person requirement
    • prescribed qualifications and experience requirements (for individuals), or the requirement to have a sufficient number of individuals who are registered to provide tax agent services to a competent standard and to carry out supervisory arrangements (for companies and partnerships)
    • relevant transitional provisions.
  • The Code including the underlying content of the professional and ethical standards required of registered tax practitioners that are contained in the Code in section 30-10 of the TASA
  • Administrative sanctions that may be imposed for a breach of the Code, including:
    • written cautions from us
    • orders from us requiring specified action to be taken (including requiring a registered tax practitioner to complete a course of training or requiring a registered tax practitioner to practice under supervision)
    • suspension of registration
    • termination of registration.
  • Civil penalty provisions including contraventions that apply to the conduct of entities that are not registered tax practitioners:
    • providing tax agent services without being registered
    • advertising tax agent services without being registered
    • representing that you are a registered tax practitioner without being registered.
  • Civil penalty provisions including contraventions applicable to the conduct of registered tax practitioners:
    • making false or misleading statements
    • using deregistered entities
    • improperly signing a declaration or other statement.
  • Our power to apply to the Federal Court for an injunction
  • Obligations to notify us of a change of circumstances

Duration

3 hours or half a day

Minimum education level

Diploma (Australian Qualifications Framework level 5 criteria)

Assessment requirements

Assessment may occur by a variety of modes, including being conducted online, provided that suitable quality assurance mechanisms are in place to ensure the integrity of the examination process.

More information

For more information refer to Required knowledge of the Tax Agent Services Act 2009 including the Code of Professional Conduct.

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Mix and match approach to Board approved courses

Until tertiary institutions, registered training organisations and other providers approved by us are equipped to deliver Board approved courses, the concept of a Board approved course is likely to require applicants to rely on the subjects they have studied in degrees and other courses to meet the educational qualification requirements prescribed by the Tax Agent Services Regulations 2009 (TASR).

As a result of this, the Board has adopted a mix and match approach in determining, for the purposes of a tax (financial) adviser registration, whether an applicant has completed a Board approved course in:

  • Australian taxation law 
  • commercial law. 

Under the mix and match approach, we will generally approve a particular course where it satisfies the bulk of the course content and topic requirements that are outlined in the proposed guideline for the relevant course. The course must also satisfy all other relevant requirements, including those relating to duration, minimum education level and assessment.

For more information refer to Educational qualification requirements for tax practitioners – the mix and match approach to Board approved courses.

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Search for Board approved courses and units

Use our online tool to check if the courses or units you have completed, or intend to complete have been approved by the Board.

If you are unable to find your course or unit on our database, send us your enquiry via our Qualifications assessment form.

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Last modified: 30 March 2020