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Qualifications and experience for tax agents

Qualifications and experience for tax agents

To become a registered tax agent, individual applicants must satisfy certain qualifications and experience requirements, which are set out in the Tax Agent Services Regulations 2009 (TASR).
 

Summary of qualifications and experience requirements

You may apply to register as a tax agent through one of six options outlined in the TASR (items 201 to 206) depending on your qualifications and experience. The following table summarises the requirements under these items, covering:

Table diagram showing qualifications and experience requirements for tax agents

Download a copy of the summary table as a PDF.
 

Requirements under the TASR items 201 to 206

Item 201 – Tertiary qualifications in accountancy

  • A degree or a post-graduate award from an Australian tertiary institution (or a degree or award that is approved by the Board from an equivalent institution) in the discipline of accountancy
  • Board approved course in Australian taxation law
  • Board approved course in commercial law
  • The equivalent of 12 months of full-time, relevant experience in the past five years.

Item 202 – Tertiary qualifications in a discipline other than accountancy

  • A degree or post-graduate award from an Australian tertiary institution (or a degree or award that is approved by the Board from an equivalent institution) in a relevant discipline other than accountancy
  • May need to have completed a Board approved course in Australian taxation law if it is relevant to the tax agent services you provide
  • May need to have completed a Board approved course in commercial law if it is relevant to the tax agent services you provide
  • The equivalent of 12 months of full-time relevant experience in the past five years.

For further information on requirements under item 202 refer TPB(I) 14/2012 Tertiary qualifications in a discipline other than accountancy for tax agents

Item 203 - Diploma or higher award in accountancy

  • A diploma or higher award (from a registered training organisation or an equivalent institution) in the discipline of accountancy
  • Board approved course in Australian taxation law
  • Board approved course in commercial law
  • The equivalent of two years of full-time relevant experience in the past five years.

Item 204 - Tertiary qualifications in law

  • Academic qualifications to be an Australian legal practitioner
  • Board approved course in basic accountancy principles
  • Board approved course in Australian taxation law
  • The equivalent of 12 months of full-time relevant experience in the past five years.

Item 205 - Work experience

  • Board approved course in basic accountancy principles
  • Board approved course in Australian taxation law
  • Board approved course in commercial law
  • The equivalent of eight years of full-time relevant experience in the past 10 years.

Item 206 - Membership of a professional association

The equivalent of eight years of full-time relevant experience in the past 10 years.

Primary qualification

Items 201 to 204 require a primary academic qualification in accountancy, law or a relevant discipline other than accountancy.

As a general guide, if you have a qualification:

  • in accountancy, you may find items 201 or 203 most suitable
  • in a discipline other than accountancy, you may find item 202 most suitable
  • in law, you may find item 204 most suitable.

If you do not have one of the above academic qualifications but have at least eight  years of  relevant experience in the past 10 years, you may find items 205 or 206 most suitable.

Board approved courses

To meet part of the education requirements for a tax agent registration under certain items, you must have completed Board approved courses in:

  • basic accountancy principles (one Board approved unit)
  • Australian taxation law (two Board approved units, one of which can be at an introductory level)
  • commercial law (three Board approved core units).

Your Australian taxation law course should include a component in the Tax Agent Services Act 2009 (TASA), including the Code of Professional Conduct (Code). Otherwise, you must have completed a separate unit covering this component.

For lists of Board approved courses refer to:

The above lists also include individual units which have been approved by the Board as meeting part of the requirements of a Board approved course under the mix and match approach. We regularly update these lists as the Board approves more courses and units.

If your course does not appear on the Board approved courses lists

If you have completed a course or unit that does not appear on the above lists, do not worry as the Board may not have yet considered your course or unit for approval.

If you have a query as to whether a qualification or course you have completed, or are proposing to complete, meets the requirements of a particular Board approved course, please send us an email with details of your qualification or course. Your email should be sent to qualifications [at] tpb.gov.au (subject: Qualification%20enquiry%20for%20a%20tax%20agent%20registration) and include the following information:

  • course outline and other relevant course materials
  • academic transcript (if any)
  • type of Board approved course you are seeking approval for (for example, a Board approved course in Australian taxation law).

Relevant experience

To learn more about the amount and types of relevant experience individual applicants must demonstrate when they apply to register visit Relevant experience for tax agents.
 

Conditional registration

A condition placed on your registration will limit the scope of services you can provide. This allows people with relevant experience in particular areas of taxation law to be eligible for registration (provided all other registration criteria are met).

For more information refer to Imposing conditions.
 

Continuing professional education

Registered tax agents must undertake continuing professional education (CPE) that meets our requirements to be eligible to renew their registration.

For a summary of CPE requirements for registered tax agents please visit Continuing professional education for tax agents.
 

Exception for tax agents registered pre-1988

If you were previously registered as a tax agent or as a nominee immediately before both 1 November 1988 and 1 March 2010, you are not required to satisfy the qualifications and experience requirements to register as a tax agent.
 

Further information

 

Last modified: 26 June 2017