Go to top of page

Relevant experience for tax agents

Relevant experience for tax agents

If you are applying to register or renew your registration as an individual tax agent, you will need to have enough relevant experience in providing tax agent services.

Relevant experience can include work:
  • as a registered tax agent
  • under the supervision and control of a registered tax agent
  • as a legal practitioner
  • of another kind approved by us.

What is considered relevant experience

Work of another kind

Amount of relevant experience required

Demonstrating relevant experience for a new application

Demonstrating relevant experience when renewing registration

What is considered relevant experience

For your experience to count as relevant experience it must include substantial involvement in one or more types of tax agent services, or substantial involvement in a particular area of taxation law to which one or more of those types of tax agent services relate.

Tax agent services include services that relate to ascertaining or advising about the liabilities, obligations or entitlements of an entity under a taxation law or representing an entity in their dealings with the Commissioner relating to a taxation law. In addition, the service must be provided in circumstances where an entity can reasonably be expected to rely on the service for taxation purposes.

Work of another kind

For the relevant experience requirement, we can accept work other than that:

  • as a registered tax agent
  • under the supervision and control of a registered tax agent
  • as a legal practitioner.

However, in these cases, you must demonstrate to us why we should accept your experience. We will typically accept experience provided you can demonstrate that the experience includes substantial involvement in:

  • one or more types of tax agent services
  • a particular area of taxation law.

'Substantial involvement' means ample or considerable involvement.

Experience that we have accepted in the past under the ‘work of another kind’ category includes work undertaken as an academic teacher in taxation laws, and work as a tax manager in a large corporation.

It is unlikely that experience which only includes general accounting work will constitute relevant experience for the purposes of registration as a tax agent. In addition, services such as auditing and insolvency generally will not meet the relevant experience requirement.

Amount of relevant experience required

The amount of relevant experience required will depend upon your educational qualifications (if any) and the item in the Tax Agent Services Regulations 2009 under which registration or renewal of registration is sought. These items are summarised below:
 

Regulation item

Educational qualification (if any)

Amount of relevant experience

201

Tertiary qualifications in accountancy

Equivalent of 12 months full-time in the preceding five years

202

Tertiary qualifications in a discipline other than accountancy

Equivalent of 12 months full-time in the preceding five years

203

Diploma or higher award in accountancy

Equivalent of two years full-time in the preceding five years

204

Tertiary qualifications in law

Equivalent of 12 months full-time in the preceding five years

205

Work experience

Equivalent of eight years full-time in the preceding 10 years

206

Membership of a professional association

Equivalent of eight years full-time in the preceding 10 years

Demonstrating relevant experience for a new registration

If you are making a new application for registration as an individual tax agent, you will need to complete and attach a Statement of relevant experience to your application.

The information contained in the Statement of relevant experience (SRE) should provide evidence of your substantial involvement in one or more types of tax agent services.

Completing a SRE 

A SRE should be completed by your supervising registered tax agent, except if you are a legal practitioner in which case you may complete it yourself.

Alternatively, you can make a statutory declaration detailing the tax agent services provided and the reasons you are unable to provide an appropriately completed SRE. You should also provide independent verification of your experience.

If you believe that you have relevant experience of 'another kind' that should be approved by us, you should make a written submission with your application outlining the experience and the reasons why you believe it should be approved.

We will consider each case on its merits.
 

Independent verification

Independent verification may include a reference from a registered tax agent or two separate references from individuals who are able to verify the type and amount of your experience. These other individuals may include colleagues or clients. If you are providing a statutory declaration it would assist us if you also provide independent verification from colleagues or other individuals who are in a position to comment on your experience. As the verification must be independent it should not be provided by family members.

The Board relies upon the SRE that is verified by a registered tax agent and expects assistance in these matters, especially from those tax agents who are and have been the employer or supervisor of the applicant. In cases where a registered tax agent refuses to verify an applicant’s relevant experience, the Board is of the view that, depending upon the circumstances, it may be a breach of the Code of Professional Conduct (Code). Under the Code, all registered tax agents are required to act honestly and with integrity as well as respond to requests from the Board in a timely, responsible and reasonable manner.

Demonstrating relevant experience when renewing registration

If you are applying for renewal of your registration, you will need to provide details of your relevant experience in the online renewal form.

The online renewal form requires you to provide the following details:

  • whether your relevant experience included substantial involvement in:
    • one or more types of tax agent services
    • a particular area of taxation law to which one or more of those types of tax agent services relate
  • the period during which you provided those services
  • the number of hours per week spent in providing those services (if not full time)
  • an estimate of number of tax returns or statements you have completed
  • any other relevant information regarding your experience.

You can self-complete these details as a registered tax agent. However, if you need to provide evidence of experience gained before your initial registration as a tax agent, you should provide a SRE completed by your supervising tax agent for the relevant period of experience.

Last modified: 17 May 2016