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Registration and compliance processing

Registration and compliance processing

Below is information about our processing of registration applications and our handling of compliance cases for the period from 1 October to 31 December 2016. This web page is updated quarterly.
 

Registration application processing times

Each year we receive and process a large number of registration applications. Under the law we have up to six 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.

 

December quarter weighted average processing days once a complete application is received**

Financial year-to-date weighted average processing days once a complete application is received**

Tax agent new registration

28

28

Tax agent renewal registration*

38

28

BAS agent new registration

32

31

BAS agent renewal registration*

36

36

Tax (financial) adviser new registration 26 27
Overall average for registration applications  34  28

*As long as a renewal application has been submitted before the registration has expired, the tax practitioner remains registered until a decision has been made by us to grant or reject the application.

**Additional follow-up action may be required to verify information in the application.

 

Number of applications processed

 

Applications
on hand
30 Sep 2016

Applications received 
 Oct - Dec 2016

Applications processed
  Oct - Dec 2016

Applications
on hand
31 Dec 2016

Tax agent new registration

215

606

554

267

Tax agent renewal registration

1,361

2,204

2,415

1,150

BAS agent new registration

143

409

396

156

BAS agent renewal registration

219

579

524

274

Tax (financial) adviser new registration 126 440 412 154
Tax (financial) adviser renewal registration 1 38 21 18

Total

2,065

4,276

4,322

2,019

 

Further information

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

 

Compliance case outcomes and performance

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 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 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

Received from

Number received
Oct - Dec 2016

Members of the public

242

Registered tax practitioners

22

The ATO

12 

Other sources and internally generated

83

Total

359

 

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 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 practitioner recognises their error and changes their behaviour accordingly, or where the complainant withdraws their compliant. 

Cases on hand
30 Sep 2016

Cases received
Oct - Dec 2016

Cases finalised
Oct - Dec 2016

Cases on hand
    31 Dec 2016

695

615

645

665

 

Outcomes of compliance cases

Outcome

Total
Oct - Dec 2016

Referred to Federal Court

0

Application for registration or renewal rejected

2

Registration terminated

7

Registration suspended

2

Order issued

31

Written caution issued

63

Change of behaviour

70

Complaint withdrawn

13

Resolved between parties

14

Education of tax practitioner

97

Registration surrendered

148

Breach found - but no sanction imposed

3

No breach identified or proven

195

Total

645

 

In the table above only one administrative sanction per case is recorded. However, multiple administrative sanctions can be imposed in a single case. For example, a tax practitioner may be suspended and ordered to complete an activity or course while suspended.
 

Compliance case processing times

We aim to finalise:

  • low risk cases within 30 days of receipt
  • medium risk cases within 120 days
  • high risk cases requiring an investigation within 210 days.

Cases

% complete on time in
the Dec 2016 quarter

% complete on time in
the financial year-to-date
2016­–2017  

Low risk (within 30 days)

19

18

Medium risk (within 120 days)

77 84

High risk investigations (within 210 days)

78 86

 

Last modified: 8 February 2017