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Board approved courses tax financial advisers commerical law

Board approved courses

BAS agents

To become a registered BAS agent, an individual must have successfully completed a Board approved course in basic GST/BAS taxation principles.

Tax agents

To become a registered tax agent, an individual may be required to have successfully completed one or more of the following Board approved courses:

  • basic accountancy principles
  • Australian taxation law
  • commercial law.

Tax (financial) advisers

To become a registered tax (financial) adviser under the standard option or to renew registration from
1 January 2016, an individual may be required to have successfully completed the following Board approved courses:

  • Australian taxation law
  • commercial law.

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 GST/BAS taxation principles

The information below summarises the key requirements for a Board approved course in basic GST/BAS taxation principles.
 

Registration type

BAS agent registration

Topics

  • Collection and recovery of tax provisions in Part VII of the Fringe Benefits Tax Assessment Act 1986
  • The indirect tax law (which means the goods and services tax (GST) law, the wine tax law, the luxury car tax law and the fuel tax law, as defined in section 995-1 of the Income Tax Assessment Act 1997 (ITAA 1997))
  • Parts 2-5 and 2-10 of Schedule 1 to the Taxation Administration Act 1953 (TAA 1953) (the pay as you go system)
  • Relevant Australian Taxation Office and Tax Practitioners Board (TPB) requirements, including TPB registration requirements, the Code of Professional Conduct (Code) and the operation of the civil penalty provisions
  • Relevant privacy principles as contained in the Privacy Act 1988
  • GST terminology and appropriate application to financial transactions
  • Taxation requirements for business purposes and taxation parameters related to a range of business types
  • Relevant accounting terminology when maintaining accounting records for a variety of business types for taxation purposes
  • All sections of both Business activity statements and Instalment activity statements for multiple entity types, including lodging statements within the allocated timeframe
  • How to calculate and input data into payroll systems (payroll is included in the definition of a BAS provision), includes pay as you go (withholding and instalments), fringe benefits tax relating to collection and recovery and preparation of payment summaries
  • How to comply with organisational guidelines relating to security and confidentiality of information, (in order to be able to, or know how to, meet the Code obligations of confidentiality)

Duration

The equivalent of two units from a Certificate IV Financial Services qualification

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  Education requirements for BAS agents.

 

Basic accountancy principles

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

Registration type

Tax agent registration

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:
 

Registration type

Tax agent and tax (financial) adviser registration

Topics

For tax agents

  • 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)

For tax (financial) advisers    

  • 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

For tax agents
Two tertiary level subjects

For tax (financial) advisers
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

 

Commercial law

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

Registration type

Tax agent and tax (financial) adviser registration

Topics

For tax agents
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.

For tax (financial) advisers
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

For tax agents 
Three tertiary level subjects

For tax (financial) advisers
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

 

Other relevant courses

From 1 July 2013, new applicants for registration who are required to have completed a Board approved course in basic GST/BAS taxation principles (for BAS agents) and Australian taxation law (for tax agents and tax (financial) advisers) 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:
 

Registration type

Tax agent, BAS agent and tax (financial) adviser registration

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

For BAS agents – Certificate IV (Australian Qualifications Framework level 4 criteria)

For tax agents and tax (financial) advisers – 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 some time has passed and 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 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 
  • a course in basic GST/BAS taxation 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, you can email us with details of the qualification or course. Your email should be sent to qualifications [at] tpb.gov.au and include the following information:

  • course outline and other relevant course materials
  • academic transcript (if relevant)
  • details of the particular Board approved course that you are seeking approval for (for example, an approved course in Australian taxation law for a tax agent registration).

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

 

Last modified: 19 November 2015