Code of Professional Conduct for tax agents
The Code of Professional Conduct (Code) regulates your personal and professional conduct as a registered tax agent.
The Code sets out principles under five separate categories:
Honesty and integrity
- You must act honestly and with integrity.
- You must comply with the taxation laws in the conduct of your personal affairs.
- If you:
- receive money or other property from or on behalf of a client, and
- hold the money or other property on trust
you must account to your client for the money or other property.
- You must act lawfully in the best interests of your client.
- You must have in place adequate arrangements for the management of conflicts of interest that may arise in relation to the activities that you undertake in the capacity of a registered tax agent.
- Unless you have a legal duty to do so, you must not disclose any information relating to a client’s affairs to a third party without your client’s permission.
- You must ensure that a tax agent service that you provide, or that is provided on your behalf, is provided competently.
- You must maintain knowledge and skills relevant to the tax agent services that you provide.
- You must take reasonable care in ascertaining a client’s state of affairs, to the extent that ascertaining the state of those affairs is relevant to a statement you are making or a thing you are doing on behalf of a client.
- You must take reasonable care to ensure that taxation laws are applied correctly to the circumstances in relation to which you are providing advice to a client.
- You must not knowingly obstruct the proper administration of the taxation laws.
- You must advise your client of the client’s rights and obligations under the taxation laws that are materially related to the tax agent services you provide.
- You must maintain the professional indemnity insurance that the Board requires you to maintain.
- You must respond to requests and directions from the Board in a timely, responsible and reasonable manner.
For a detailed explanation of each of these categories refer to TPB(EP) 01/2010: Code of Professional Conduct.
Recommendations for complying with the Code
To assist you to comply with certain aspects of the Code we have provided guidance material on matters such as:
- Enhancing client verification process for tax practitioners
- Passing on refunds
- Acting lawfully in the best interests of clients
- Letters of engagement
- Holding money or other property on trust
- Reasonable care
- Managing conflicts of interest
- Confidentiality of client information.
Code comparison with the Corporations Act and FASEA Standards
If you are a tax agent with a tax (financial) advice services condition, refer to the link below to find out how your Code obligations compare with relevant obligations under the Corporations Act 2001 and Financial Adviser Standards and Ethics Authority (FASEA) Standards.
Failure to comply with the Code
If you fail to comply with your obligations under the Code, we may impose sanctions. For more information refer to Failing to comply with your obligations.
Last modified: 31 January 2022