If anyone provides BAS services for a fee or other reward, they must be registered with the Tax Practitioners Board (TPB).
There are severe 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. These include 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 registered company or partnership tax or BAS agent, 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 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) applies.
- a legal practitioner and you:
- are 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
- do not prepare and lodge return like statements* except in the course of acting for a trust or deceased estate as trustee or legal personal representative.
*Note: Return like statements include business activity statements,instalment activity statements, superannuation guarantee statements and pay as you go withholding payment summary or income statements.
Penalties for unregistered conduct
The civil penalty provisions in the Tax Agent Services Act 2009 prohibit certain conduct while unregistered. The Federal Court can impose severe penalties for breach of these civil penalty provisions. These are summarised in the table below.
|Conduct prohibited without BAS or tax agent registration||Penalties|
|Providing BAS services for a fee or reward||
|Advertising BAS services||
|Representing as a registered BAS agent||
For further information refer Civil penalty provisions for BAS agents
To check if a BAS agent is registered:
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 agent may not be liable to some administrative penalties imposed by the Australian Taxation Office in certain circumstances.
Last modified: 10 March 2020