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If you use someone to prepare or lodge your tax returns, notices or statements, or to provide you with tax advice this tax time, make sure they are registered with the Tax Practitioners Board (TPB).

Engaging with a registered tax practitioner ensures the service you are receiving comes from a qualified professional and may protect you from penalties should your practitioner not take reasonable care. Remember, you are responsible for your return even if someone prepares it for you.


Can you trust these people to help prepare your tax return?

Press on each card to reveal the answer!

friends and family

A tax agent recommended by friends or family

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Even when a tax agent is recommended by someone you trust, it is unwise to implicitly trust the tax agent’s credentials. Always check the TPB public register as registration ensures they have the appropriate experience, qualifications and insurance.

professional association

Accountants who belong to a professional association

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Accountants belonging to a professional association must still be registered with the TPB to provide tax agent services legally if they charge a fee or receive a reward for their services.

tax return every year

Your friend who lodges his own tax return every year

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You can ask a family member or friend to help you with your tax return. They cannot charge you a fee – only registered tax agents can charge for preparing tax returns.

another country

A tax agent registered in another country

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While they might be excellent agents in their own countries, they are unlikely to know enough about our tax system to be helpful. They still have to be registered with the TPB if they receive a payment, or a benefit from you.

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A company displaying the TPB registered symbol

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Engaging with a tax practitioner who displays the TPB registered symbol is a great way to ensure they meet the required professional standard. However, you must still ensure they are registered by checking their unique registration number displayed with the symbol on the TPB public register.

former tax agent

A former tax agent

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The ever-changing nature of Australia’s tax system requires tax agents to constantly undergo professional education to ensure they continue to provide quality services. By using the services of a former tax agent, you run the risk of receiving out-dated tax advice that doesn’t follow current best practices.

registered tax agent

TPB registered tax agent

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Engaging the services of a TPB registered tax agent is the only way to ensure your tax affairs are handled by a qualified professional and may provide protection from the risks associated with these processes.

tax return services

A BAS agent or financial adviser offering tax return services

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Only registered tax agents can legally prepare and lodge tax returns on behalf of clients.

job boards

A tax agent advertising their services on job boards

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It is common for illegitimate or terminated agents to promote tax services on job boards as a means of avoiding regulation from the TPB. Engaging their services, without ensuring they are properly registered, exposes you to risk and possible penalties if they include false or misleading information in your return.

largest tax refund

A tax agent that promises you the largest tax refund

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Many of the unscrupulous agents we investigate attract customers by promising the ‘largest tax refund possible’. Usually they achieve this by providing incorrect information to the ATO and if you knowingly engage in this process, you run the risk of having administrative penalties imposed on you.

Take the detective work out of tax time this year!

Use the TPB online register to find a qualified tax practitioner or check if your current one is legitimate.

Check if your tax practitioner is registered

Last modified: 3 June 2024