Below is information about our processing of registration applications and our handling of compliance cases for the period from 1 July to 31 December 2021.

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.

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

Application type

Applications
on hand

30 June 2021

Applications received

July - December 2021

Applications processed

July - December 2021

Applications on hand

31 December 2021

Tax agent new registration

176

804

833

147

Tax agent renewal registration

361

3,589

3,658

292

BAS agent new registration

91

488

512

67

BAS agent renewal registration

74

1,793

1,693

174

Tax (financial) adviser new registration

47

1,349

510

886

Tax (financial) adviser renewal registration

161

1,465

1,617

9

Total

910

9,488

8,823

1,575

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 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

July - December 2021

Members of the public

343

Registered tax practitioners

65

The ATO

159

Other sources and internally generated

227

Complaints not yet classified*

1

Total

795

*Includes complaints yet to be assessed to identify the source.

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 received

July - December 2021

Cases finalised

July - December 2021

Cases on hand

31 December 2021

948

1,301

550

Outcomes of compliance cases

Outcome

Total

July - December 2021

Application for registration or renewal rejected

0

Registration terminated

28

Registration suspended

11

Order issued

8

Written caution issued

27

Change of behaviour

35

Complaint withdrawn

17

Resolved between parties

24

Education of tax practitioner

83

Registration surrendered

13

Breach found but no sanction imposed

0

No breach identified or proven

1,002

Outside Board jurisdiction

10

Inspector General of Taxation Case Finalised

1

Revision – Original decision found to be incorrect

1

Compliance Monitoring finalised

16

Referred to the Federal Court for alleged breaches of the civil penalty provisions in the TASA

0

Total

1,276

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: 28 July 2022