Recognised tax agent association
Professional associations may be accredited by us as a recognised tax agent association if they apply for recognition and meet certain requirements in the Tax Agent Services Regulations 2009 (TASR).
To maintain its recognition, an association must ensure it continues to satisfy these requirements on an ongoing basis.
Applying for recognition
To apply for recognition use the Application for accreditation as a recognised tax agent association. Alternatively, you can write to us addressing all of the requirements to become a recognised tax agent association that are set out below.
Requirements to become a recognised tax agent association
We must recognise an organisation as a recognised tax agent association, if an organisation applies for recognition and meets all of the following requirements:
- be a non-profit organisation
- have adequate corporate governance and operational procedures to ensure that:
- it is properly managed
- its internal rules are enforced
- have professional and ethical standards for its voting members, including terms to the effect that:
- voting members must undertake an appropriate number of hours of continuing professional education each year (having regard to the circumstances and requirements of the members)
- voting members must be of good fame, integrity and character
- voting members are subject to rules controlling the member’s conduct in the practice of the member’s profession
- voting members are subject to discipline for breaches of those rules
- if a voting member is permitted by that organisation to be in public practice, the voting member has professional indemnity insurance
- have satisfactory arrangements in place for:
- notifying clients of its members, or of members of its member bodies, about how to make complaints
- receiving, hearing and deciding complaints
- taking disciplinary action if complaints are justified
- have satisfactory arrangements in place for publishing annual statistics about:
- the kinds and frequency of complaints made to the organisation (except complaints under the Tax Agent Services Act 2009 (TASA) about entities registered under the TASA)
- findings made as a result of the complaints
- action taken as a result of those findings
- be able to pay its debts as they fall due
- have management of the organisation that:
- is required to be accountable to its members
- is required to abide by the corporate governance and operational procedures of the organisation
- have at least 1,000 voting members – at least 500 being registered tax agents
- have each of its voting members comply with one of the following:
- member has been awarded a degree or a post-graduate award in the discipline of accountancy from either an:
- Australian tertiary institution
- equivalent institution
- member has been awarded a diploma or higher award in the discipline of accountancy from either:
- a registered training organisation
- an equivalent institution
- member has the academic qualifications required to be an Australian legal practitioner
- the member was both:
- registered as a tax agent or nominee under the Income Tax Assessment Act 1936 (ITAA 1936) immediately before the TASR commenced
- a member of, and entitled to vote at meetings, of a recognised professional association as recognised under the ITAA 1936
- the member has the equivalent of eight years full-time experience in providing tax agent services in the past 10 years.
(Note: an organisation is taken to have arrangements that comply with requirements 4, 5 and 6 above if the organisation or its members are subject to a State or Territory law or a rule or other instrument created by or under a State or Territory law, that set out requirements that are the same, or have a similar effect, to these requirements).
If requirement 8 or 9 is not met, we may still decide to recognise the organisation. In doing so, we must have regard to the:
- purpose of the TASA
- role of recognised tax agent associations under the TASR.
After lodging an application
We will write to the organisation as soon as the decision is made to either grant or reject the application for recognition.
If the application is rejected, we will include reasons for the decision. If an organisation is not satisfied with our decision, it may apply to have the decision reviewed by the Administrative Appeals Tribunal.
If the application is granted, we will include the details of the organisation on the List of recognised professional associations.
To remain accredited as a TPB recognised tax agent association, the association must ensure that the eligibility requirements associated with accreditation continue to be satisfied on an ongoing basis. For guidance on demonstrating that the requirements are being met (including examples) refer to Ongoing eligibility requirements for recognised tax agent associations.
Terminating recognition of an association
If we believe that a recognised tax agent association has ceased to meet a requirement for recognition and its recognition should be terminated, we will write to the association explaining our reasons. We will invite a written submission (within a specified time) about whether the association’s recognition should be terminated.
We will make a decision after the end of the specified time on whether the association’s recognition should be terminated, taking the written submission into consideration.
If we decide to terminate an association's recognition, we will:
- write to the organisation, provide reasons for the decision
- include details of the termination on the List of recognised professional associations
If an organisation is not satisfied with our decision, it may apply to have the decision reviewed by the Administrative Appeals Tribunal.
Last modified: 29 April 2015