Go to top of page

TPB policy response to the pandemic

3 September 2020

TPB policy response to the pandemic

In response to the challenging circumstances tax practitioners have encountered this year, we offered support to tax practitioners through a range of initiatives (PDF, 158 KB).

These concessional arrangements are consistent with a whole of Government approach to dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic.

New legislative instrument registered

We moved swiftly on the announcement of government stimulus measures to ensure that BAS agents were able to legally advise clients on the JobKeeper Payment and Cash Flow Boost initiatives by registering the Tax Agent Services (Specified BAS Services No.1) Instrument 2020 in April. This instrument benefited 15,000 BAS agents who were able to legally advise and assist their clients on these stimulus measures.

Annual declaration extension

Any tax practitioner that has an annual declaration due on or before 31 December 2020 will not be required to submit it. These practitioners will next need to complete their annual declaration in 2021 or 2022 (if their registration renewal is due in 2021). However, tax practitioners must continue to meet their other ongoing obligations, including around professional indemnity insurance, fit and proper requirements and personal tax obligations.

Eased CPE requirements

In March, we implemented a number of temporary concessions to address matters arising due to the COVID-19 pandemic, including the temporary removal of the 25% cap for relevant technical/professional reading activity and the acceptance of small amounts of educative health and wellbeing activities as relevant CPE. Over 55,000 registered individual tax practitioners are currently benefiting from this concession. These concessions have now been extended to 31 December 2020.

Relaxed assessment requirements

In relation to Board approved courses, where supervised assessments have not been able to be conducted in line with our existing requirements, we have accepted alternative assessment options. This includes remotely, online and through software (including utilising anti-plagiarism software) and we will also consider the use of other arrangements on a case by case basis. We have to date approved a total of 15 alternative arrangements for assessments, and by doing so, over 12,000 students have benefited or will benefit from our relaxed requirements.

This concession is in place for the remainder of the calendar year (2020).

Code of Professional Conduct guidance

We have provided targeted and practical guidance to the almost 80,000 registered tax practitioners about their obligations under the Code of Professional Conduct when advising in relation to the stimulus measures, in particular - JobKeeper and Cash flow boost.

All temporary concessions that are to continue will be updated according to further developments and key measures implemented by the Australian Government in response to COVID-19.

Last modified: 8 September 2020