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Comments invited on draft supervisory arrangements guidance

31 May 2021

Comments invited on draft supervisory arrangements guidance

We have released draft guidance about the supervisory arrangement requirements under the Tax Agent Services Act 2009 (TASA) and invite your feedback.  

The TASA requires all partnerships and companies to meet the ‘sufficient number’ requirement. This means these entities must have a sufficient number of registered individuals, being registered tax agents, BAS agents or tax (financial) advisers, to provide services to a competent standard and carry out supervision on the entity’s behalf. These entities must satisfy this requirement when registering or renewing their registration, and also on an ongoing basis. 

The Code of Professional Conduct (Code) in the TASA also requires all tax practitioners to ensure tax agent, BAS or tax (financial) advice services provided on their behalf are provided competently. 

As there is currently no formal guidance on this topic, we have developed this document to help you understand our views on the supervisory arrangement requirements. 

What does this guidance include?

This guidance includes relevant factors that can be considered to ensure company and partnership entities have a sufficient number of individuals registered to meet the sufficient number requirement. Part of this includes the requirement to obtain the prior informed written consent from registered individual tax practitioner/s forming the sufficient number. This will help ensure the nominated individual/s is aware of their appointment as a supervising tax practitioner and understands their responsibilities. 

For tax (financial) advisers, we recognise the different business models and structures that exist in the financial services industry when compared to tax and BAS agent practices. Accordingly, there is some additional guidance included for them. 

We have also provided some relevant considerations to help determine whether adequate supervision and control exists, including in situations where: 

  • remote supervision is being undertaken in practices, and 
  • a tax practitioner is providing supervision for multiple related or unrelated entities.  

The guidance also strongly recommends that a supervisory plan be established, setting out the nature of the supervisory arrangements in place. This will assist in ensuring there is clear understanding of the responsibilities and expectations of supervisors and staff.   

Comments invited 

This draft guidance is open for consultation until 28 June 2021. Submissions can be sent by email to tpbsubmissions [at] tpb.gov.au or by mail to Tax Practitioners Board, GPO Box 1620, Sydney NSW 2001. 

We will consider all submissions received before finalising our position. 

Last modified: 31 May 2021