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Board approved course requirements for tax agents

Board approved courses requirements for tax agents

To become a registered tax agent, an individual may be required to have successfully completed a:

  • Board approved course in basic accountancy principles
  • 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 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.

 

Basic accountancy principles

The information below summarises the key requirements for a Board approved course in basic accountancy principles.

Topics

  • Sources of regulation of accounting
  • Understanding financial statements for different business structures
  • Transaction analysis
  • Basic understanding of double entry bookkeeping
  • Cash and accrual accounting
  • Key concepts and rules integral to understanding financial statements including:
    • definition and recognition of revenues and expenses
    • definition and recognition of assets
    • definition and recognition of liabilities
    • measurement of current-assets, including receivables and inventory
    • measurement of non-current assets including depreciation and impairment
    • measurement of liabilities.
  • Taxable income and accounting profit (loss)

Duration

One tertiary level subject

Minimum education level

Certificate IV (Australian Qualifications Framework level 4 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 basic accountancy principles that is approved by the Board.

 

Australian taxation law

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

Topics

  • The rules and principles of Australian tax law including an understanding of the legal environment in which these principles operate, including basics of the legal system, constitutional considerations and separation of powers
  • The key aspects of the income tax law covering concepts of residence and source, related elements (only) of international tax, assessable income, deductions, tax rebates/offsets and tax accounting
  • The key aspects of taxes that extend the ordinary income tax base including relevant principles and application of the capital gains tax and fringe benefits tax rules
  • Goods and services tax
  • Taxation of individuals and basic entities including partnerships, trusts and companies
  • Taxation aspects of superannuation law
  • Administrative aspects of the taxes identified above including returns, tax collection and withholding mechanisms, assessments, objections, rulings, penalties and audits
  • Rules addressing specific and general anti tax avoidance
  • Ethical and professional responsibilities of tax agents including obligations under the Tax Agent Services Act 2009 (TASA) and Tax Agent Services Regulations 2009 (TASR)

Duration

Two tertiary level subjects

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

 

Commercial law

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

Topics


The course must cover most of the following ‘core commercial law areas’ to a significant extent (meaning they could not be covered in a single tertiary level unit of study):

  • Australian legal systems and processes
  • contracts
  • the law of entities (including partnerships, corporations and trusts) and business structures
  • property law.

In addition, all the units comprising the course must be from the list of following topic areas:

  • introductory or foundation units commonly described as ‘Australian legal systems and processes’
  • the fundamental legal concepts of business organisational structures (such as sole traders, partnerships, corporations, trusts, agencies, joint ventures and incorporated associations) and the underlying regulation of those structures
  • the law of torts (in particular, negligence and negligent misstatement)
  • introduction to the fundamental law of real and personal property transactions
  • non-tax legal aspects of superannuation
  • contracts
  • the law relating to remedies for breach of contract
  • corporations law
  • competition and consumer law
  • finance law
  • law relating to electronic commerce
  • insurance law
  • intellectual property
  • bankruptcy and insolvency law
  • other subject areas approved by us.

Duration

Three tertiary level subjects

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

 

TASA, including the Code

New applicants for registration who are required to have completed a Board approved course in Australian taxation law must ensure that their course includes a component of study in the Tax Agent Services Act 2009 (TASA), including the Code of Professional Conduct (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.

 

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 agent registration, whether an applicant has completed a Board approved course. Such courses include:

  • a course in Australian taxation law 
  • a course in commercial law 
  • a course in basic accountancy principles. 

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.

 

Need more information?

If you are unsure if a qualification or course you have completed, or are proposing to complete, meets the requirements for a particular Board approved course, send us your enquiry through our Qualifications assessment form.

We will consider any queries and seek to provide practical guidance as appropriate.

 

Last modified:  5 March 2018