Below is information about our processing of registration applications and our handling of compliance cases for the period from 1 July to 31 December 2023.

Each year we receive and process a large number of registration applications. Under the law we have up to 4 months to make a decision about a new registration application. We aim to process, on average, a registration application (new and renewal), within 30 days of receiving a complete application.

The processing times may be affected if we have to undertake follow-up action to verify information in the application.

If you have submitted your renewal application on time, you remain registered until we have made a decision and notified you of the outcome.

Number of applications processed

Number of applications processed

Application type

Applications on hand

30 June 2023

Applications received

July - December 2023

Applications processed

July - December 2023

Applications on hand

31 December 2023

Tax agent new registration

307

1,056

1,194

169

Tax agent renewal registration

365

5,136

5,166

335

BAS agent new registration

138

523

568

93

BAS agent renewal registration

57

1,985

1,850

192

Total

867

8,700

8,778

789

Further information

For more information on the processing of applications, refer to Processing times.

We receive complaints and referrals about tax practitioners' conduct from various sources including the public, registered tax practitioners and the Australian Taxation Office (ATO).

We also generate compliance cases internally to address key risks and issues.

Where there are a number of complaints received about a particular tax practitioner, we may action them all in a single case.

We provide strong support to tax practitioners who are responsible, and comply with their obligations under the Tax Agent Services Act 2009 (TASA). However, we take firm action against tax practitioners who do not, or are unwilling to, comply with their obligations under the TASA, including the Code of Professional Conduct (Code).

Complaints and referrals

Source

Number received

1 July - 31 December 2023

The ATO319
Members of the public355
TPB internally generated238
Anonymous complaint90
Registered tax practitioners61
Media30
Complaints pending review84
ASIC11
Recognised professional association-
Law enforcement7
Other23
Total1,218

Compliance cases actioned

A significant proportion of cases we action are finalised with no breach of the Code or other legislative obligations identified. It is only in a small percentage of cases where an administrative sanction is imposed on a tax practitioner or the matter is referred to the Federal Court for consideration of the imposition of a civil penalty.

Whenever possible, and particularly in the less serious matters, we work with tax practitioners and complainants to resolve issues. We are often able to resolve matters where a tax practitioner recognises their error and changes their behaviour accordingly, or where the complainant withdraws their compliant.

Cases started

July - December 2023

Cases finalised

July - December 2023

Cases on hand

31 December 2023

348

271

615

Outcomes of compliance cases

Outcome

Total

1 July - 31 December 2023

No further action – For Intel purposes only or low risk19
Change of behaviour13
Education of tax practitioner113
Agent failed to renew, no longer exists, or is deceased6
Registration terminated43
No breach identified or proven15
Written caution issued18
Order issued9
No further action - Insufficient evidence5
Registration suspended2
Compliance monitoring finalised17
Unregistered agent advertising removed1
Registration surrendered1
Cease and desist letter issued2
Internal review – Original decision incorrect0
Referred to the Federal Court for alleged breaches of the civil penalty provisions in the TASA0
Internal review - Original decision upheld2
Complaint or referral withdrawn1
Breach found but no sanction imposed2
Outside Board jurisdiction0
Other2
Total271

The table above includes the number of administrative sanctions imposed during the quarter for cases finalised. Where a case has more than one sanction imposed, the more serious sanction is included in the table. For example, if a tax practitioner is suspended and ordered to complete a course while suspended, the sanction is recorded in the 'Registration suspended' category.

Last modified: 1 July 2024