Registered tax agents, BAS agents and tax (financial) advisers (collectively referred to as 'tax practitioners') need to comply with the Tax Agent Services Act 2009 (TASA), including the Code of Professional Conduct (Code). The Tax Practitioners Board’s role includes ensuring registered tax practitioners have met minimum standards of education, experience and competence, and appropriate behaviours. As regulators, our role is to build community confidence that tax practitioners comply with the TASA, including the Code.
Our relationship with tax practitioners and the community is based on mutual trust and respect and we nurture that relationship by:
- being open, transparent and accountable in our dealings with the community
- being professional, responsive and fair.
The Tax Practitioner Service Charter (Charter) explains what tax practitioners can expect from us in doing this, and we are committed to following it in all our dealings with tax practitioners.
Ian R Taylor
Tax Practitioners Board
2. The Tax Practitioners Board
The Tax Practitioners Board (TPB) is responsible nationally for the registration and regulation of tax practitioners and for ensuring compliance with the Tax Agent Services Act 2009 (TASA).
This is achieved by:
- administering a system for the registration of tax practitioners, ensuring they have the necessary competence and personal attributes
- issuing guidance on relevant matters, including in regard to the Code and other identified priorities, to assist tax practitioners in providing their important service to the community
- investigating conduct that may breach the TASA, including non-compliance with the Code, and breaches of the civil penalty provisions, and
- where appropriate, applying sanctions to registered tax practitioners for non-compliance with the Code.
Note: Within this Charter the use of the Tax Practitioners Board or TPB is used to refer to the body as a whole. The use of the term ‘Board’ refers to the Board (consisting of the Board Chair and Board Members) which is responsible for making decisions on the administration of the TASA.
The Board is comprised of eight members, including the Board Chair, who are appointed for a specific period of time by the Assistant Treasurer. Board members come from a range of backgrounds including tax agent services, the bookkeeping industry, law, academia and business, with experience in both private and government sectors.
The TPB is independent of the Australian Taxation Office (ATO). While separate, the TPB and ATO work cooperatively to strengthen community confidence in the taxation system. The TPB falls under the portfolio of The Treasury.
2.1 Our values
The TPB’s values (see Figure 2.1) promote the regulation of tax practitioners in a fair, consistent and practical way, with the aim of ensuring that registered tax practitioners meet appropriate standards of professional and ethical conduct, thereby protecting consumers.
Figure 2.1: Our values
3. Tax practitioner rights and responsibilities
3.1 Tax practitioner rights
Registered tax practitioners have the right to:
- review and appeal certain decisions of the TPB
- lodge a complaint (see section 5)
- privacy and confidentiality in accordance with the law (see section 8)
- access information (i.e. Freedom of Information obligation) (see section 7)
- access services, facilities and information in a manner which meets their needs.
3.2 Tax practitioner responsibilities
Registered tax practitioners must comply with the TASA, including the Code and civil penalties provisions. They are also obliged to:
- treat TPB staff with courtesy and respect
- respond to requests for information by the TPB in a timely, responsible and reasonable manner, and
- abide by any legal requirements and other obligations.
4. TPB obligations to tax practitioners
The TPB meets Australian Public Service values by delivering services in an impartial, accountable and ethical manner to the Australian public, and is respectful of the diversity of the Australian community.
You can expect us to:
- be courteous
- treat you with respect and honesty
- treat you fairly and abide by the principles of natural justice
- provide you with accurate and consistent information in accessible formats
- provide professional service and assistance
- respect your privacy in accordance with the Privacy Act 1988
- keep the information we hold about you confidential
- give you access to information we hold about you
- be accountable and explain the decisions we make about you
- respect your right to a review
- respect your right to make a complaint
- listen to your feedback and be responsive.
5. Feedback to the TPB – complaints, compliments and suggestions
We value your opinion and welcome your feedback including complaints, compliments or suggestions. We have systems in place to record data on complaints, compliments and suggestions and this is used to help improve our services.
Feedback could be:
- about a positive experience you have had
- a comment or suggestion on how we can improve our services to you
- a complaint if you are not satisfied with the service you have received, or feel you have not been treated fairly and reasonably by us or by someone delivering services on our behalf.
5.1 Complaints handling
We consider written complaints seriously and impartially. Complaints about us may include the decisions we make and/or our products and procedures.
If you wish to make a complaint about a tax practitioner refer to Make a complaint as such complaints are outside the scope of this Charter.
5.2 Not satisfied with the outcome of your complaint
If you are not satisfied with the way we have handled a complaint, you should speak with the TPB staff member you have been dealing with, or their manager. If you are still not satisfied, you may email us at TPBSecretariat [at] tpb.gov.au or write to the Secretary of the Board at:
The Secretary (Complaints)
Tax Practitioners Board
GPO Box 1620
SYDNEY NSW 2001
Alternatively the Inspector General of Taxation may be able to assist you. For more information visit www.igt.gov.au.
6. How to contact the TPB
If you are unable to find the answer to your question on our website or need to discuss a specific query you can Contact us.
If you do not speak English well and need help from us, phone the Translating and Interpreting Service on 13 14 50.
If you are deaf, or have a hearing or speech impairment, phone us through the National Relay Service (NRS) on the numbers listed below:
- TTY users, phone 13 36 77 and ask for the TPB number you need
- Speak and Listen (speech-to-speech relay) users, phone 1300 555 727 and ask for the TPB number you need
- Internet relay users, connect to the NRS on www.relayservice.com.au and ask for the TPB number you require.
7. Freedom of Information (FOI)
Under the Freedom of Information Act 1982 (FOI Act), members of the public can seek access to documents held by the TPB.
7.1 Making an FOI request
For information on how to apply for access to documents held by the TPB under the FOI Act, refer to Freedom of information
7.2 Information Publication Scheme
The TPB complies with the Information Publication Scheme (IPS) requirements under the FOI Act.
7.3 Further information about FOI
Additional information about the Freedom of Information, privacy and information policy is available by visiting the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner's website.
If you have a privacy enquiry or complaint, please contact our Privacy Contact Officer at TPBLegalunit [at] tpb.gov.au or write to:
Privacy Contact Officer
Tax Practitioners Board
GPO Box 1200
Brisbane QLD 4001
9. Monitoring and review
Performance against the service standards set out in our Corporate Plan will be monitored and published in the TPB’s Annual report.