Who needs to register as a BAS agent?
If anyone provides BAS services for a fee or other reward, they must be registered with the Tax Practitioners Board (TPB).
To check if a BAS agent is registered search the TPB Register or look for the Registered tax practitioner symbol.
Registration ensures that BAS agents:
- have the qualifications and experience required to provide BAS services
- meet our fit and proper requirements
- have appropriate professional indemnity insurance cover to protect consumers.
Additionally, under the safe harbour provisions in the Tax Administration Act 1953, taxpayers using a registered BAS service provider may not be liable to some administrative penalties imposed by the Australian Taxation Office in certain circumstances.
There are significant penalties for anyone providing BAS services for a fee or reward or advertising BAS services while unregistered.
What is a BAS service?
BAS services relate to:
- working out or advising about liabilities, obligations or entitlements of clients under a BAS provision, or
- representing a client in their dealings with the Commissioner of Taxation in relation to a BAS provision
where it is reasonable to expect a client to rely on the service to satisfy liabilities or obligations, or to claim entitlements, under a BAS provision.
The TPB has also declared certain services as BAS services that extend beyond the definition of a BAS provision through a legislative instrument.
For further information and examples of services visit BAS services
There are limited situations where you do not need to register as a BAS agent. You do not need to be registered if you are:
- an employee or contractor of a registered tax or BAS agent and you do not provide BAS services in your own right. However, if you are working for a company or partnership which charges or receives fees for BAS services, the company or partnership might need you (as an individual) to be registered so that it has a sufficient number of registered individual BAS agents
- a legal practitioner who is not prohibited from providing BAS services as a legal service under a state or territory law that regulates legal practice and the provision of legal services, and you do not prepare and lodge return like statements such as:
- business activity statements
- instalment activity statements
- superannuation guarantee statements
- pay as you go withholding payment summary statements
except in the course of acting for a trust or deceased estate as trustee or legal personal representative
- a customs broker licensed under the Customs Act 1901 providing a BAS service relating to imports or exports to which an ‘indirect tax law’ (as defined in section 995-1 of the Income Tax Assessment Act 1997 (ITAA1997) applies.
Penalties for unregistered BAS service providers
There are civil penalty provisions in the Tax Agent Services Act 2009 for providing a BAS service for a fee or reward or advertising BAS services while unregistered.
The Federal Court can impose severe penalties for breach of these civil penalty provisions.
For further information refer Civil penalties under the tax agent services regulatory regime