Go to top of page

Continuing professional education exposure draft TPB (EP) D04/2011

Exposure draft TPB (EP) D04/2011
Continuing Professional Education

This draft information sheet is also available as a PDF, download link provided at end of this page.

The Tax Practitioners Board (Board) has released this draft explanatory paper as an exposure draft and invites comments and submissions in relation to the information contained in it within 60 days. The closing date for submissions is 19 September 2011 after which time the Board will consider any submissions made before settling its position, undertaking any further consultation required and finalising the explanatory paper.

Any written submissions in relation to this exposure draft should be made by the closing date to the Secretary of the Board via email at tpbsubmissions [at] tpb.gov.au or by mail to:

Tax Practitioners Board
PO Box 9825
PENRITH NSW 2740

Disclaimer

This document is in draft form, and when finalised, will be intended as information only. While it seeks to provide practical assistance and explanation, it does not exhaust, prescribe or limit the scope of the Board’s powers provided in the Tax Agent Services Act 2009 (TASA).

In addition, please note that the principles and examples in this paper do not constitute legal advice. They are also at a preliminary stage only. The Board’s conclusions and views may change as a result of the comments the Board receives or as other circumstances change.

Currency of details of the CPE policy

It is anticipated that the Board’s CPE policy will commence from 1 March 2013. The Board intends to review the details of its CPE policy from time to time, with a view to making any necessary refinements for the future. The Board reserves the right to amend the policy at any point before any formal review if it becomes necessary.

Key terms

Lists a number of key terms and the meaning they have in this document.

Document history

This draft explanatory paper was issued on 20 July 2011 and is based on the TASA, and the Tax Agent Services (Transitional Provisions and Consequential Amendments) Act 2009 as at 1 March 2010 and the TASR as at 29 October 2010.

Overview

  1. This is an exposure draft of the Tax Practitioners Board (Board) (TPB (EP) D04/2011) on which the Board is seeking comments. It reflects the policy which, subject to considerations of comments received, the Board proposes to adopt on Continuing Professional Education (CPE).
  2. This document sets out the Board’s proposed CPE policy[1]. The policy is intended to provide guidance to tax practitioners in meeting their obligations under the Code of Professional Conduct (Code).  The Board considers that CPE is the continuation and ongoing improvement of a professional’s knowledge and skills. CPE is also a means by which tax practitioners maintain and build upon their primary qualifications, used to gain initial registration under the Tax Agent Services Act 2009 (TASA)[2].  It is imperative that a tax practitioner’s knowledge and skills adapt and improve as the law, society and their individual practice changes. 

Objective

  1. All businesses operate in an increasingly globalised setting which is subject to continuous change. The introduction of the TASA acknowledges this reality which is expressed by the following:
    1. The object of the TASA is to ensure that tax agent services[3] are provided to the public in accordance with appropriate standards of professional and ethical conduct[4] .  The completion of relevant CPE will assist tax practitioners to ensure that their knowledge and skills are maintained for the benefit of their clients and the broader community.
    2. Section 30-10(8) of the TASA, forming part of the Code, requires that all registered agents ‘maintain knowledge and skills relevant to the *tax agent services that you provide’.[5]
    3. Section 30-10(10) of the TASA, forming part of the Code, requires that all registered agents ‘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.’ A tax practitioner is better equipped to exercise reasonable care in applying the taxation laws where they have maintained the knowledge and skills relevant to the tax agent services they provide.
    4. Section 30-10(12) of the TASA, forming part of the Code, requires that all registered agents ‘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’. A tax practitioner is better equipped to properly advise a client about the taxation laws relevant to their circumstances when they have maintained the knowledge and skills relevant to the tax agent services they provide.
    5. One of the ‘pillars’ of the new legislative regime is a consumer protection imperative. The TASA requires the Board to ensure that tax practitioners are competent and comply with the Code. In this regard the Board has a public protection role.
  1. These provisions reinforce the view that it is essential for tax practitioners to maintain their knowledge and skills throughout the lifetime of their professional practice. This includes undertaking more significant CPE during periods of legislative change and to account for changes to a tax practitioner’s individual circumstances. The principles contained in this policy will therefore assist tax practitioners to meet their obligations under the legislative provisions described above.

Legislative background

  1. The TASA envisages that the Board may develop a CPE policy to provide guidance for the purpose of satisfying the principles of the Code. 
  2. All tax practitioners are required to comply with section 30-10 of the TASA. Section 30-10 of the TASA relevantly requires that:
     

    ‘(8) You must maintain knowledge and skills relevant to the *tax agent services that you provide.

    (10) 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.

    (12) 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’.

  1. The Explanatory Memorandum (EM) to the Tax Agent Services Bill 2008 anticipates that, to fulfil this obligation, tax practitioners will be required to complete CPE. Paragraphs 3.45 and 3.46 of the EM to the Tax Agent Services Bill 2008 state that:
     

    ‘… Keeping up-to-date with developments in the relevant taxation laws and tax administration may require agents to undergo a certain minimum number of hours of tax related continuing professional education per year as determined by the Board.

    3.46 The Board may issue a guideline listing the training that is available in the market (including face-to-face training courses, distance learning and online courses) as being sufficient for continuing professional education purposes for this principle of the Code. For this purpose, any person or organisation can make a recommendation to the Board to have their training courses listed. The courses are not restricted only to those offered by recognised professional associations, recognised BAS agent associations, tax agents or BAS agents.[6]

    [Emphasis added]

CPE principles

  1. The legislative principles and provisions described above recognise that tax practitioners should undertake continuous relevant CPE to maintain their knowledge and skills and to competently provide tax agent services to the Australian community.
  2. CPE refreshes and updates the core body of knowledge essential to the services provided by each tax practitioner. CPE builds upon and maintains the relevance of a tax practitioner’s educational background.
  3. The Board proposes that the following principles should underpin its CPE policy with effect from 1 March 2013, subject to consultations:
    1. CPE contributes to the maintenance of contemporary and relevant knowledge and skills required of tax practitioners to comply with the Code.[7]
    2. Tax practitioners provide a broad spectrum of tax agent services.  The following categories of tax practitioners generally reflect the different scope of services provided by agents registered under the TASA:
      1. Tax agents. Registered tax agents are legally able to provide tax agent services for a fee or other reward.[8] The term ‘tax agent service’ is given a wide definition by the TASA[9]
      2. BAS agents. Registered BAS agents are legally able to provide BAS services for a fee or other reward.[10] The term ‘BAS service’ is defined by the TASA,[11] and 
      3. Conditional registrants. The term conditional registrant refers to a registered tax agent or BAS agent who has a condition imposed on their registration, in respect of the subject area in which the agent may provide tax agent services. The term ‘specialist’ as it relates to this document generally refers to a type of conditional registrant or a tax practitioner who has been registered under item 202 of Part 2 of Schedule 2 to the Tax Agent Services Regulations 2009 (TASR).[12] In this regard, ‘specialist’ does not necessarily refer to an agent with a particular skill or qualification.
    3. The Courts have previously indicated in a number of cases that continued registration requires that tax practitioners be competent. The maintenance of competence by a tax agent or BAS agent requires continuing awareness, understanding and up-to-date knowledge of relevant technical, legal and business developments. A tax practitioner who has maintained their knowledge and skills is better equipped to advise their clients and apply the taxation laws to individual circumstances.[13] In Stasos v Tax Agents’ Board [1990] FCA 379, Hill J stated at paragraph 49:
       

      ‘once registered, however, the tax agent must keep up to date with the massive changes to the income tax law, no easy task in the present time, so that he can properly advise and represent his clients. That is a responsibility which comes with the privileged position in which he is placed.’.[14]

    4. The Board acknowledges that CPE is currently required to be undertaken by members of most recognised tax and BAS agent associations. The Board also notes that the TASR specifies the following requirements:
      1. Item 103(a) of Part 1 of Schedule 1 of the TASR requires that a recognised BAS agent association have professional and ethical standards including terms to the effect that:

        voting members of a recognised BAS agent association undertake at least 15 hours of continuing professional education each year’. [Emphasis added]

      2. Item 203(a) of Part 2 of Schedule 1 of the TASR requires that a recognised tax agent association have professional and ethical standards including terms to the effect that:

        voting members must undertake an appropriate number of hours of continuing professional education each year, having regard to the circumstances and requirements of the members’. [Emphasis added]

    5. The Board acknowledges that the current market for CPE that is relevant and designed to meet the needs of BAS agents is not yet mature and comprehensive.  Further, the Board recognises that it may take some time for a comprehensive suite of CPE activities relevant to meet the needs of BAS agents, to develop.  To ensure a smooth transition for the adoption of CPE by BAS agents, the Board proposes in the first instance to maintain that the minimum level of relevant CPE that should be undertaken by BAS agents would be 45 hours over a triennium.[15] The Board would intend to review the details of its CPE policy from time to time, with a view to making any necessary refinements for the future.
    6. Recognising the wide scope of services provided by tax agents and the maturity of the CPE activities available to this category of tax practitioner, the Board would propose to require that tax agents undertake a minimum of 90 hours of relevant CPE over a triennium.
    7. Under the TASA an agent may be registered as a conditional registrant. The Board recognises that this category of tax practitioner may not provide tax agent services on a full time basis or may not provide a broad range of tax agent services. The Board’s preliminary view is that it should require that this category of tax practitioner complete a minimum of 45 hours of relevant CPE over a triennium.

    What does this mean for tax and BAS agents?

    1. The development of this CPE policy will provide guidance of what the Board considers to be best practice in relation to CPE. Tax practitioners unfamiliar with professional regulation will benefit most from this guidance. The Board also anticipates that this policy will instigate and drive the future development of CPE activities by various associations and organisations for the tax practitioner profession. For clarity, it is noted that at this time the Board does not propose to accredit or approve CPE activities. Tax practitioners should exercise their professional judgment in selecting relevant CPE activities to be undertaken.

    What does this mean for consumers?

    1. The development of this CPE policy will assist in raising standards within the tax practitioner profession and promote consumer protection. When engaging the services of a tax or BAS agent, the Board encourages the public to ask whether the agent is registered with the Board and how they maintain their knowledge and skills.

    Policy and examples

    CPE for tax agents

    1. Registered tax agents should complete a minimum of 90 hours of relevant CPE over a triennium.
    2. The Board recognises that for various reasons the amount of CPE completed by a tax agent in a given year may vary. To allow flexibility for these situations tax agents are able to complete their CPE over a triennium. This means that a tax agent would need to ensure that at the end of their CPE triennium a minimum of 90 hours of CPE has been completed. The Board considers that not less than 10 hours of relevant CPE should be completed in any given year of the triennium.
    3. A tax agent’s CPE triennium would begin on the date the tax agent is registered and end on the date on which they are required to renew their registration. If a tax agent is already registered they should complete CPE pro-rata from 1 March 2013 to the date on which they are required to renew their registration.

    Example 1

    In 2010, John only completes 10 hours of CPE due to parenting leave in the first half of the year. To account for his deficiency in CPE hours, John completes 50 hours of CPE in 2011 and 30 hours of CPE in 2012. As John has completed 90 hours of CPE over his CPE triennium (maintaining a minimum of 10 hours CPE each year), the Board considers that he has completed the minimum level of CPE.

    CPE for BAS agents

    1. The Board proposes that registered BAS agents would need to complete a minimum of 45 hours of relevant CPE over a triennium.
    2. The Board recognises that for various reasons the amount of CPE completed by a BAS agent in a given year may vary. To allow flexibility for these situations BAS agents are able to complete their CPE over a triennium. This means that a BAS agent would need to ensure that at the end of their CPE triennium a minimum of 45 hours of CPE has been completed. The Board’s preliminary view is that not less than five hours of relevant CPE should be completed in any given year of the triennium.
    3. A BAS agent’s CPE triennium would begin on the date the BAS agent is registered and end on the date on which they are required to renew their registration. If a BAS agent is already registered they would need to complete CPE pro-rata from 1 March 2013 to the date on which they are required to renew their registration

    Example 2

    John’s registration as a BAS agent is due for renewal on 31 April 2014. John should complete relevant CPE pro-rata from 1 March 2013 to 31 April 2014. At renewal John should have completed 17 hours and 30 minutes of relevant CPE, i.e. 45 hours, pro-rata to 14 months. However, provided John has completed a minimum of 10 hours of relevant CPE from 1 March 2013 to 1 March 2014, the Board will consider that he has completed the minimum level of CPE. 

    CPE for conditional registrants

    1. A conditional registrant[16] should complete a minimum of 45 hours of relevant CPE over a triennium.
    2. The Board recognises that for various reasons the amount of CPE completed by a conditional registrant in a given year may vary. To allow flexibility for these situations conditional registrants are able to complete their CPE over a triennium. This would mean that a conditional registrant would need to ensure that at the end of their CPE triennium a minimum of 45 hours of CPE has been completed. The Board considers that not less than five hours of relevant CPE would need to be completed in any given year of a triennium.
    3. A conditional registrant’s CPE triennium will begin on the date the conditional registrant is registered and end on the date on which they are required to renew their registration. If a conditional registrant is already registered they would need to complete CPE pro-rata from 1 March 2013 to the date on which they are required to renew their registration.
    4. The type of CPE required of conditional registrants would have to be relevant to the tax agent services provided by that agent. 

    Example 3

    John is a quantity surveyor who registers under the TASA as a conditional registrant. John may only provide tax agent services that relate to Part 2-10 of the Income Tax Assessment Act 1997 concerning capital allowances and the rules about deductibility of capital expenditure. John should complete 45 hours of CPE over his CPE triennium relevant to the type of tax agent services he provides. John is not required to complete CPE in relation to other types of tax agent services which he does not provide.

    What is relevant CPE?

    1. The Board considers relevant CPE to be the maintenance of contemporary and relevant knowledge and skills. CPE undertaken by tax practitioners should be relevant to the tax agent services they provide and the development of their personal knowledge and skills. Subject to paragraph 26 below, the Board does not intend to be prescriptive regarding particular topics for CPE activities which should be able to be undertaken. Tax practitioners should exercise their professional judgment in selecting relevant CPE activities to be undertaken.

    Example 4

    John is a registered tax agent. John completes a course through the Smart State TAFE that deals with the provisions of the TASA and its practical application for tax agents and their practice. The Board considers that this course is relevant to the tax agent services John provides. This is because a tax practitioner’s obligations under the TASA will necessarily effect how John provides tax agent services to the public and interacts with clients.

    1. The Board proposes that CPE activities should be provided by persons or organisations with suitable qualifications and/or practical experience in the relevant subject area. Tax practitioners should exercise their professional judgment in selecting suitable CPE activities to be undertaken.

    Example 5

    John is a registered BAS agent. John attends a training session provided by Swift Software. John uses the Deluxe Swift Software package to assist him in providing BAS services to clients. The Board considers that while this training session is indirectly relevant to the BAS services John provides it will be considered relevant CPE because effective and accurate use of the software package impacts on the skills John needs to competently provide BAS services to clients.

    1. The Board considers that the completion of a primary course which has been used for the purpose of gaining initial registration as a tax agent or BAS agent should not generally constitute a CPE activity.
    2. The Board may recommend specific topics for CPE activities in certain circumstances. For example, the Board may ask for tax practitioners to undertake CPE activity in the TASA, including the Code, particularly where the tax practitioner has not undertaken a course covering this topic as part of their educational qualification requirements used to gain initial registration as a tax agent or BAS agent.
    3. During periods of legislative change or where changes occur to a tax practitioner’s professional practice, tax practitioners would need to undertake sufficient CPE to meet their knowledge and skill requirements. It is essential for tax practitioners to maintain their knowledge and skills in order to provide competent and contemporaneous services to clients.

    Example 6

    John is a registered tax agent with a condition imposed on his registration. John may only provide tax agent services that relate to taxation laws relating to deductions for research and development (R&D) activities under Part III Division 3 of the Income Tax Assessment Act 1936.

    John is aware that there is proposed legislation that will redesign the current R&D Tax Concession system. This legislation is proposed to apply retrospectively, but has not yet been enacted. John currently maintains an understanding of the new proposed regime, but will need to undertake specific and in depth training in this area if the legislation is enacted. To become competent in the new regime, the training John must undertake may be more than the minimum level of CPE set by the Board.

    CPE activities

    1. Examples of CPE activities should, in the Board’s preliminary view, include:
      1. seminars, workshops, courses and lectures
      2. conferences and discussion groups (including by telephone or video conference)
      3. tertiary courses provided by educational institutions (including distance learning)[17]
      4. other educational activities, provided by an appropriate organisation
      5. research, writing and presentation by the tax practitioner of technical publications or structured training
      6. computer/internet-assisted courses, audiotape or videotape packages
      7. attendance at structured in-house training on tax related subjects by persons or organisations with suitable qualifications and/or practical experience in the subject area covered, and
      8. attendance at appropriate Australian Taxation Office seminars and presentations.
    1. The Board expects that not more than 10 percent of CPE would be undertaken through technical or professional reading. The provision of a tax agent service would not, of itself, constitute a CPE activity.

    Recognition of other CPE

    1. The Board acknowledges the CPE requirements imposed on voting members of recognised tax and BAS agent associations.[18] Where a tax practitioner is a voting member of a recognised tax or BAS agent association, the Board proposes to accept the tax practitioner’s compliance with their association’s CPE requirements, subject to the following:
    • the CPE activities undertaken would need to be relevant to the tax agent services provided
    • the CPE activities undertaken would need to be provided by persons or organisations with suitable qualifications and/or practical experience in the subject area, and
    • the CPE undertaken would need to meet the minimum level of CPE as specified in principles 9(e), 9(f) and 9(g) of section B of this document.

    Example 7

    John is a member of Tax World, a recognised tax agent association. As a voting member of Tax World, John is required to complete 120 hours of CPE over a triennium. John’s practice primarily deals with individual and simple partnership and company income tax matters. In 2010, John attends a CPE seminar provided by Tax World in relation to its potential merger with an international accounting association. As this seminar is not relevant to the tax agent services provided by John, the seminar would not be considered to be relevant CPE by the Board.

    1. The Board recognises that voting members of a recognised tax and BAS agent association may have a different CPE period as compared to the triennium period for the purposes of this document. For the purpose of this document, the Board expects that at the end of a tax practitioners CPE triennium, a tax practitioner who is relying on the CPE completed for a recognised tax or BAS agent association should be able to demonstrate that they complied with their CPE obligations with the recognised association and are in the process of complying with their current CPE obligations. In any case, the Board’s preliminary view is that not less than 10 hours of relevant CPE for tax agents, and not less than five hours of relevant CPE for BAS agents and conditional registrants, should be completed in any given year.

    Recording CPE activities

    1. The Board considers that an important aspect of maintaining knowledge and skills involves recording and reflecting on CPE completed. Effective record keeping allows a tax practitioner to ensure that an appropriate amount and type of CPE is undertaken in relation to the areas in which a tax practitioner practices.
    2. Tax practitioners would need to maintain a record and evidence of their engagement in CPE activities. To assist tax practitioners, the Board proposes to develop and make available an appropriate CPE log, resources permitting. The Board does not expect that a tax practitioner who maintains a CPE log to satisfy the voting membership requirements of a recognised tax or BAS agent association to keep an additional record.
    3. Records would need to be kept for a period of three years from the date the tax practitioner’s CPE triennium ends.
    4. The Board expects that from time to time it would request evidence of CPE completed by tax practitioners within a relevant period.[19]

    Example 8

    John attends a seminar provided by BAS World, a recognised BAS agent association, in relation to changes to fuel tax credits. John records the particulars of the course (name, date and time) and course provider on his electronic CPE log. As John receives a brochure of the seminar and email confirmation of his enrolment, he keeps these records as evidence of CPE completed. The Board considers that John has taken the appropriate steps to record his CPE.

    Concessions

    1. The Board acknowledges that there may be extenuating circumstances where a tax practitioner is unable to complete the minimum level of CPE. Tax practitioners should exercise their professional judgment in this regard and would need to keep appropriate contemporary records of such circumstances.
    2. Examples of situations where it might not be possible for a tax practitioner to complete the minimum level of CPE include:
      1. illness and / or disability, and
      2. financial or other hardship.

    Example 9

    John is a BAS agent running a sole practice in the Brisbane suburbs. In early 2011, John is involved in a car accident and sustains serious injury. John is unable to work for six months. The Board does not expect John to complete the minimum level of CPE that year.

    1. The Board notes that while the minimum amount of CPE may not, in certain circumstances be met, tax practitioners should be mindful that their obligation under the Code to maintain knowledge and skills relevant to the tax agent services provided can not be abrogated. Tax practitioners may use the flexibility of their CPE triennium to manage their extenuating circumstances. Tax practitioners would also need to be mindful of the prescribed experience requirements for renewal of registration.

    Example 10

    John is a tax agent residing in Coober Pedy, South Australia. He provides tax agent services predominantly to individuals who work in opal mines. John rarely has time to travel to Adelaide to attend face-to-face training and only makes a modest income. John is however careful to maintain his knowledge and skills by undertaking online learning packages and participating in online discussion groups as well a monitoring updates on the Australian Taxation Office website and undertaking technical reading.

    Compliance with the Code of Professional Conduct

    1. Completion of at least the minimum level of relevant CPE outlined above would be considered by the Board as one of the factors which would evidence compliance with section 30-10 of the TASA, being one of the principles of the Code.
    2. For further information in relation to compliance with the Code, please visit the Board’s website at www.tpb.gov.au

    Key terms

    BAS agent
    This term refers to an entity registered by the Board as a BAS agent under section 20-25 of the Tax Agent Services Act 2009. To be registered as a BAS agent the entity must, amongst other things, meet the requirements relating to qualifications and experience listed in Part 1 of Schedule 2 to the Tax Agent Services Regulations 2009.

    BAS service
    This term has the meaning given to it in section 90-10 of the Tax Agent Services Act 2009. A BAS service is a ‘tax agent service’, see ‘tax agent service’ below.

    Code of Professional Conduct (Code)
    The Code is contained in section 30-10 of the Tax Agent Services Act 2009. It sets out standards of professional and ethical conduct with which tax practitioners must comply.

    Conditional registrant
    This term refers to a registered tax agent or BAS agent who has a condition imposed on their registration under section 20-25(5) of the Tax Agent Services Act 2009. The condition will relate to the subject area in which the agent provides tax agent services. The term ‘specialist’ as it relates to this document generally refers to a type of conditional registrant or a tax practitioner who has been registered under item 202 of Part 2 of Schedule 2 to the Tax Agent Services Regulations 2009.[20] See also ‘Specialist’.

    CPE
    Continuing Professional Education. CPE is also commonly referred to by professional associations as Continuing Professional Development. The term CPE will be used for the purpose of this document.

    Recognised BAS agent Association
    A recognised BAS agent association is an organisation that applies to the Board for recognition and the Board decides to recognise the association in accordance with Division 1 of Part 1A of the Tax Agent Services Regulations 2009.

    Recognised Tax agent Association
    A recognised tax agent association is an organisation that applies to the Board for recognition and the Board decides to recognise the association in accordance with Division 2 of Part 1A of the Tax Agent Services Regulations 2009.

    Specialist
    This term refers to a type of conditional registrant or a tax practitioner who has been registered under item 202 of Part 2 of Schedule 2 to the Tax Agent Services Regulations 2009. In this regard, ‘specialist’ does not necessarily refer to an agent with a particular skill or qualification. See also ‘Conditional Registrant’.

    Tax agent
    This term refers to an entity registered by the Board as a tax agent under section 20-25 of the Tax Agent Services Act 2009. To be registered as a tax agent the entity must, amongst other things, meet the requirements relating to qualifications and experience listed in Part 2 of Schedule 2 to the Tax Agent Services Regulations 2009.

    Tax agent service
    This term has the meaning given to it in section 90-5 of the Tax Agent Services Act 2009. The definition of tax agent service includes BAS services.

    Tax practitioner
    This term refers to both tax agents and BAS agents registered under the Tax Agent Services Act 2009.

    Triennium
    A triennium for the purposes of this document is generally three years. For new tax practitioners your CPE triennium will commence according to your registration date. The end of your CPE triennium will be the date on which you are required to renew your registration.

    Related documents

    Explanatory Papers

    TPB (EP) 01/2010 - Code of professional conduct

    TPB (EP) 02/2010 - Fit and proper person

    TPB (EP) 03/2010 - Professional indemnity insurance

    Information Sheets

    (TPB(I)) 01-2011: Letters of engagement

    (TPB(I)) 02-2011: Claiming a lien over client property

    (TPB(I)) 03-2011: Trusts and registration

    (TPB(I)) 04-2011: BAS agent educational qualification requirements

    (TPB(I)) 05-2011: Information regarding the assessment aspect and requirements of an approved course in basic GST/BAS taxation principles

    (TPB(I)) 06-2011: Educational qualification requirements for tax agents and BAS agents – the mix and match approach to Board approved courses

    (TPB(I)) 07-2011: Approval process for courses which are referred to in Schedule 2 of the Tax Agent Services Regulations 2009

    Draft Information Sheets

    Draft Information Sheet - Basic GST-BAS Taxation Principles

    Proposed Guidelines

    TPB (PG) 01/2010: Course in basic accountancy principles approved by the Board

    TPB (PG) 02/2010: Course in commercial law approved by the Board

    TPB (PG) 03/2010: Course in Australian taxation law approved by the Board

    • [1] CPE is also commonly referred to by professional associations as Continuing Professional Development. The term CPE will be used for the purpose of this document.
    • [2] The Board has released several documents in relation to its policies on education and the prescribed requirements for registration under the Tax Agent Services Act 2009. See further, section E of this document.
    • [3] See key terms at ‘Key terms’ of this document. The definition of tax agent service includes a BAS service.
    • [4] Section 2-5 of the Tax Agent Services Act 2009.
    • [5] Use of a ‘*’ in the Tax Agent Services Act 2009 indicates that the term is defined in Division 90 of the Act.
    • [6] Paragraphs 3.45 and 3.46 of the Explanatory Memorandum to the Tax Agent Services Bill 2008.
    • [7] Section 30-5 of the Tax Agent Services Act 2009, provides that the Code applies to all registered tax and BAS agents. If, following an investigation under Subdivision 60-E, the Board is satisfied that an agent has failed to comply with the Code, it may impose one or more administrative sanctions under section 30-15. Sanctions the Board can impose include a written caution, a period of suspension or termination of the agent’s registration. The severity of a sanction will depend on the Board’s consideration of the nature and extent of the breach and the circumstances of each case. The Board has issued an Explanatory Paper in relation to the Code of Professional Conduct. For further information please visit the Board’s website at www.tpb.gov.au
    • [8] The term ‘tax agent’ is more specifically defined at ‘Key terms’ of this document
    • [9] The term ‘tax agent service’ is defined at ‘Key terms’ of this document.
    • [10] The term BAS agent is more specifically defined at ‘Key terms’ of this document.
    • [11] The term ‘BAS service’ is defined at ‘Key terms’ of this document.
    • [12] This term is more specifically defined at ‘Key terms’ of this document.
    • [13] As required by sections 30-10(8), 30-10(10) and 30-10(12) of the Tax Agent Services Act 2009.
    • [14] See further Comino v Tax Agents Board of NSW [2009] AATA 766 at paragraph 34 and Re Su and Tax Agents’ Board of South Australia 82 ATC 4284.
    • [15] See key terms at ‘Key terms’ of this document.
    • [16] See key terms at ‘Key terms’ of this document.
    • [17] The Board considers that the completion of a primary course, required for registration as a tax agent or BAS agent will not generally constitute a CPE activity.
    • [18] See key terms at ‘Key terms’ of this document.
    • [19] The Board acknowledges that a tax practitioner may be audited by a tax or BAS agent association of which they are a member. The Board notes that it may consider the outcome of such an audit as evidence of CPE completed.
    • [20] This term is more specifically defined at ‘Key terms’ of this document.