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TPB marks first year

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

TPB marks first year

Yesterday the Tax Practitioners Board (TPB) marked its first year in operation. Dale Boucher, Chair of the TPB, said that solid steps have been taken to establish a single national system to register and regulate all tax and BAS agents.

The TPB replaced the six former state-based Tax Agents’ Boards and is responsible for administering the Tax Agent Services Act 2009 (TASA). BAS agents, who were not previously required to be registered in the past, now come under the Board’s jurisdiction.

“Our initial priority was to identify and register all professionals who provide tax agent services for a fee. Our combined registered tax and BAS agent community now numbers approximately 53,000. There are 16,000 newly registered BAS agents and 37,000 registered tax agents,” said Mr Boucher.

In year one the TPB defined requirements for registered tax and BAS agents. By introducing a single, consistent framework, agents will have greater clarity in understanding what the law requires of them.

Consumers can be better assured that their registered agent is operating within national standards administered by the TPB.

“In our first year we laid the groundwork for a national regulatory system that better supports the professionalism of agents, reducing uncertainty and creating greater clarity and consistency. Ultimately consumers of tax services will also be better protected by the new arrangements,” Mr Boucher noted.

“We have done this by explaining the basics of what is expected of agents under the Code of Professional Conduct, which agents must comply with, and by defining the education requirements they must meet.”

“Australians expect appropriate levels of service, knowledge and integrity from tax professionals, and it is a pleasure to note that the majority of registered agents do uphold high standards. The TPB will continue to support tax and BAS agents who operate professionally and ethically and will take action against those who do not do so.”

“Our second year is shaping up to be just as busy as our first. We are moving out of our ‘start up’ phase however, we still have a lot to do to fully establish the Board,” commented Mr Boucher.

In 2011, the TPB will focus on a number of priorities, including:

  • refining and improving its registrations function, aiming to process registrations within a month of receipt
  • consolidating agent education requirements, including defining continuing professional education expectations
  • continuing to work closely with the professional associations to ensure that agent's views are heard, understood and reflected in practical interpretations of the TASA
  • developing a holistic and balanced compliance approach, and
  • implementing the TPB professional indemnity insurance requirement from 1 July 2011.

For further information, or to check whether a tax or BAS agent is registered, go to www.tpb.gov.au