Continuing professional education for tax agents
When renewing your registration, you must have completed continuing professional education (CPE) that meets our requirements.
Complying with our CPE requirements will assist you to maintain knowledge and skills relevant to the tax agent services you provide, which is one of your obligations under the Code of Professional Conduct.
You should maintain a record of your CPE activities. We may request you to provide evidence of CPE that you have completed at any time throughout your registration period, including when we are considering your renewal application.
Download our handy CPE factsheet (PDF, 606KB) for an overview of our CPE requirements.
Number of CPE hours for tax agents
|Type of tax agent registration||Minimum number of CPE hours within a 3-year registration||Minimum number of CPE hours each year|
|Conditional: Australian financial services||60 hours||7 hours|
|Conditional: Quantity surveying||6 hours||2 hours|
|Conditional: Fuel tax credit specialty||6 hours||2 hours|
|Any other condition||45 hours||5 hours|
If your registration period is other than three years, you should complete CPE on a pro-rata basis.
Types of activities that count for CPE
You must exercise your professional judgment in selecting relevant activities to count towards your CPE. We do not accredit CPE activities or prescribe particular topics for CPE activities. For types of CPE activities we consider appropriate refer to CPE activities.
Our CPE policy requires that no more than 25% of CPE should be undertaken through relevant technical/professional reading. In light of current coronavirus (COVID-19) impacts, we have temporarily removed this 25% cap until 30 September 2020. However, you must first and foremost, explore and undertake online CPE offerings.
In addition, we also acknowledge that during this difficult time, it is important to manage your mental health and wellbeing in order to continue to provide services to your clients. Therefore, we will temporarily be accepting a small amount of educative health and wellbeing activities, such as attending webinars about how to manage stress and self-care, as being a relevant CPE activity that will count towards your CPE hours for TPB purposes. However, the vast majority of your CPE activities must still be relevant to the tax agent services you provide that maintain, develop or promote your skills, knowledge or attributes.
You must also maintain a log book detailing the activities undertaken.
Recording CPE activities
You should maintain a record and evidence of the CPE activities that you have completed. The record should be made as soon as possible after your CPE activity is completed and should include details of the activities and the hours completed.
If you maintain a CPE log to satisfy membership requirements of a relevant recognised professional association, you do not need to keep an additional record.
Records of your CPE should be kept for six years, unless you are a member of a relevant recognised professional association in which case records should be kept in accordance with the requirements of the relevant association.
We may request evidence or confirmation of the CPE activities that you have completed. This may require you to provide a copy of your CPE log. We have developed a CPE log that you may like to use to assist with your record keeping requirements.
Special circumstances that affect your CPE
There may be extenuating circumstances where you are unable to complete the minimum hours of CPE. If you experience such circumstances, you should exercise your professional judgment in this regard and keep appropriate records in relation to your situation.
Examples of situations where it might not be possible for you to complete the minimum amount of CPE hours include:
- financial or other hardship.
In these types of circumstances, we will consider appropriate relief from the minimum amount of CPE hours, provided you can demonstrate that you have attempted to use the flexibility of your CPE period to manage any extenuating circumstances to comply with our CPE requirements.
Example: Using the flexibility of the three year CPE period
Tim is a tax agent and is a partner in a medium-sized accounting firm. In early 2014, Tim is diagnosed with a serious illness and is unable to work for six months and manages to complete only five hours of CPE for that year.
Tim completes 40 hours of CPE in the second year and 45 hours of CPE in the third year.
In this case, we will accept that Tim has completed CPE that meets our requirements, despite Tim not having completed the minimum ten hours of CPE in the first year.
Recognition of your association’s CPE
If you are a member of a recognised professional association your compliance with the association’s CPE requirements will be accepted as meeting our CPE requirements, subject to the CPE activities:
- being relevant to the tax agent services you provide
- being provided by persons or organisations with suitable qualifications and/or practical experience in the subject area
- meeting our minimum amount of CPE hours as mentioned above.
For more information refer to:
- Continuing professional education policy requirements for registered tax and BAS agents from 30 June 2013 TPB (EP) 04/2012
Last modified: 22 May 2020