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New CPE policy aims to enhance the tax profession standards and consumer protection

30 November 2021

New CPE policy aims to enhance the tax profession standards and consumer protection 

Our new continuing professional education (CPE) policy for tax and BAS agents will commence from 1 July 2022. We thank you for your overwhelming response to our draft policy which has helped shape our new requirements.  

This is the first major revision of our CPE policy since 2013 and takes into account the changes that have occurred within the tax practitioner profession over these years.  
 

Why the changes are necessary 

Businesses increasingly operate in a complex environment and constant changes to tax laws further add to the complexity. The scope and nature of services provided by tax practitioners has evolved over these years. It is therefore important that you keep up your knowledge and skills to cope with the changing and increasing demands. This is where CPE plays a vital role in assisting you to adapt as the law, society and your client needs change.  

In particular, we have seen significant expansion in the range of services that BAS agents can lawfully provide, and an increasing demand and reliance placed on BAS agents to assist businesses in complying with their tax obligations. This speaks of the recognition and professional standing of BAS agents within the tax profession and the broader community.  

The increased demand for BAS services and the expansion of the types of services that BAS agents may provide has led to an increase in the range and maturity of CPE activities that have now become available to BAS agents.  

The increase in the CPE hours reflects these changes that have occurred in the industry over these years. 
 

Key changes from the current policy 

We’ve highlighted below some of the key changes from the current policy: 

  • Tax agents should complete a minimum of 120 hours of CPE over a 3-year period – an increase from 90 hours over a 3-year period in the current policy.  
  • BAS agents should complete a minimum of 90 hours of CPE over a 3-year period – an increase from 45 hours over a 3-year period in the current policy. 
  • Both tax and BAS agents should complete a minimum of 20 hours of CPE each year. This has been increased from 10 hours per year for tax agents and 5 hours per year for BAS agents in the current policy. 
  • If you are a member of a recognised professional association, under the new policy, you will be able to align your CPE period with the CPE period of your professional association. This means that you can elect to have your CPE period based on a financial year or a calendar year, thus providing you with greater flexibility.  
  • Recognising the importance of the health and wellbeing of tax practitioners, the new policy will allow you to complete health and well-being activities up to a maximum of 10% of the required CPE hours. This may include activities such as attending webinars about how to manage stress and self-care. 
  • Reduction in the CPE record-keeping requirement from six to five years, aligning with the Australian Taxation Office and several professional associations requirements. 
  • Inclusion of family and/or caring commitments (such as maternity or paternity leave) as exceptional circumstances for not being able to complete the minimum CPE hours, thus providing flexibility for those who may be affected. 

It is important to note that CPE activities are not limited to those activities that improve your technical knowledge. Other areas, such as practice management and ethics, are also relevant and important to ensure you provide a competent service to your clients. You can also now complete educational health and wellbeing activities, up to a maximum of 10% of the CPE hours you are required to complete.  

We’ve developed handy factsheets for tax agents and BAS agents to provide an overview of our new CPE requirements. 
 

Supporting tax and BAS agents 

To help you understand the new CPE requirements, we will be running a webinar on 16 December 2021. We will send you an invitation soon, so you can register for this webinar. You can also register through our website at tpb.gov.au/webinars

You can also refer to our Frequently asked questions on the new CPE requirements from 1 July 2022 which address some of the common queries about the changes.  
 

Read our new CPE policy 

Full details of the new policy are available in our explanatory paper – TPB(EP) 07/2021 Continuing professional education for tax and BAS agents from 1 July 2022. 

 

Last modified: 30 November 2021