Finding and using a tax practitioner
If you want to have someone prepare or lodge your tax returns, notices or statements, or to provide you with tax advice, you should ensure they are registered with the Tax Practitioners Board.
Tax practitioners include tax agents, BAS agents and tax (financial) advisers.
You can check our TPB Register to see if a tax practitioner is registered.
Read our Information for clients fact sheet - available in Portable Document Format (PDF) which outlines your obligations to the ATO and your tax practitioner's obligations to the Tax Practitioners Board.
What services can registered tax practitioners provide?
Registered tax practitioners can charge a fee or receive a reward for providing advice and services to help their clients comply with tax and superannuation laws.
Registered BAS agent and tax (financial) advisers can only provide some of the services tax agents are registered to provide.
The following table provides examples of some of the services that tax and BAS agents and tax (financial) advisers can provide.
|Service or advice that can be provided for a fee or other reward||Tax agents||BAS agents||Tax (financial) advisers|
|Preparing and lodgiing tax returns||Yes||No||No|
|Preparing and lodging BAS||Yes||Yes||No|
|Applying for an ABN on behalf of a client||Yes||Yes||No|
|Advice on registration for GST and PAYG withholding||Yes||Yes||No|
|Fringe benefits tax||Yes||Yes||No|
|Superannuation guarantee payments||Yes||Yes||No|
|Dealing with ATO on behalf of a client||Yes||Yes||No|
|Personal advice on the tax implications of financial advice||Yes||No||Yes|
Agreement on services provided by tax practitioners
When using a registered tax agent, BAS agent or tax (financial) adviser, we recommend you discuss the following points with them to ensure you know what is expected of you and your tax practitioner:
- your financial situation
- details of the work to be done and when it needs to be done by
- how much the work will cost, or general information about the practitioner’s fee structure
- where your refund will be sent (if applicable)
- how long you can expect to wait to receive your refund (if applicable).
Many registered tax practitioners will ask you to sign a letter of engagement, which sets out both parties' obligations in relation to the work to be done by the practitioner.
- Search the register - check if the tax practitioner you are using is registered
- Unregistered tax practitioners - using an unregistered practitioner is a big risk
- Make a complaint - you can make a complaint about a tax practitioner whether registered or not
- Registered tax practitioner symbol - tax practitioners use this symbol to show they are registered with the TPB
Last modified: 10 April 2019