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Time is running out use simple options to apply now!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010
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Time is running out - use simple options to apply now!

Dale Boucher, Chair of the Tax Practitioners Board (TPB), today reminded tax agent service providers, BAS preparers or bookkeepers who provide tax services for a fee or other reward, that they need to be registered with the TPB to continue to operate legally.

"The law now requires tax agents and BAS agents to be registered with the TPB if you are providing tax agent services for a fee or other reward. The transitional application for tax agents, or the notification option for BAS agents, are the simplest ways to apply for registration."

The Board encourages those who may need to register, to act now and apply online at www.tpb.gov.au by 31 August 2010. Other registration options will be available after this date, however, they do not offer the same advantages as the transitional options which expire on 31 August.

Are you operating legally?

Mr Boucher also remarked that it is the first time that there has been a nationally legislated requirement for bookkeepers who are BAS preparers to be registered.

"We think there may be many operators out there who do not even know they now need to be registered, or that they may be providing these services illegally."

“Even if you occasionally provide tax advice as part of your wider client service, you could now be classified as providing a tax agent or BAS service under the new law.

"Specialists such as research and development consultants, quantity surveyors and those operating in limited areas of practice are just some examples of the types of providers who also may now be required to register with the TPB."

Protecting our community

"Tax practitioners are highly-reputable and trustworthy. The TPB is keen to continue to support these professionals. We are also committed to protecting the Australian community from those who decide not to operate legally."

Unregistered preparers and those who do not comply with the civil penalty provisions, face fines of up to $27,500 for individuals or $137,500 for companies, which can be imposed for each breach by the Federal Court of Australia.

BAS agents - why is it important to notify the TPB by 31 August

The free notification option of registration is the only method that backdates BAS registration to cover you from the day the law began on 1 March 2010. By notifying you will gain time to meet long term registration requirements.

If you have previously had access to the Australian Taxation Office’s online services such as the BAS Service Provider Portal, and you do not notify with the TPB by 31 August this will impact on your ability to continue to use these services.

Tax agents - why it is important to apply with the TPB by 31 August

The tax agent transitional registration option closes on 31 August 2010. This will allow you to be registered as a tax agent for at least three years from the day the Board decides on your application. You are also taken to be registered during the time the Board assesses your application. You can use this method if you have been providing a tax agent service to a competent standard and for a reasonable period before the new law began on 1 March 2010.

So don’t delay, submit your application today. For more information go to www.tpb.gov.au