Want to become a registered Tax Agent? Here’s what you should know

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You’re a brilliant accountant who has recently moved to Australia and are excited to commence the next chapter in your accounting career. But you’ve been told you can’t just start practicing; nope, not until you study a bit more to ensure you adhere to Australia’s strict code of conduct.

What is this strict code of conduct? What do you need to study and what do you need to know?

Let’s find out.tax agent

You need to become a Registered Tax Agent

So, you need to become a Registered Tax Agent. Hang on… What is a Registered Tax Agent?

A Registered Tax Agent is a specialist accountant who has studied tax to be registered by the Tax Practitioners Board (TPB).  Registered Tax Agents are the only people allowed to provide and charge a fee for tax services to the Australian public.

This provides consumers with the assurance that they’re dealing with responsible, qualified and skilled personnel who adhere to a strict code of conduct.

What is this strict code of conduct?

The code of conduct is prescribed by the Tax Practitioners Board and regulates the industry. It sets out principles under the following five separate categories:

  • Honesty and integrity
  • Independence
  • Confidentiality
  • Competence
  • Other responsibilities

You can read more about the code here.

What are the registration requirements?

An individual, each individual partner, or each director of a company applying for registration must:

  • Be at least 18 years old;
  • Be a fit and proper person;
  • Have the required qualification(s) and experience;
  • Maintain or will be able to maintain Professional Indemnity insurance according to the prescribed standards; and
  • Submit an online form and provide all the required supporting documents.

Who is considered a fit and proper person?

You may have had a little giggle at the term ‘fit and proper person’, but it’s a legitimate requirement which should be taken seriously.

The Tax Practitioners Board, consider the following when deciding if an applicant is a fit and proper person:

  • Whether the individual is of good fame, integrity and character
  • Whether any of the following events have occurred during the previous five years:
    • the individual has been convicted of a serious taxation offence
    • the individual has been convicted of an offence involving fraud or dishonesty
    • the individual has been penalised for being a promoter of a tax exploitation scheme
    • the individual has been penalised for implementing a scheme that has been promoted on the basis of conformity with a product ruling in a way that is materially different from that described in the product ruling
    • the individual has had the status of an undischarged bankrupt
    • the individual has been sentenced to a term of imprisonment, or served a term of imprisonment in whole or in part.

What about qualifications?

Prior to even applying to become a registered Tax Agent, you need some accounting qualifications up your smart sleeves – The ones which are set out in the Tax Agent Services Regulations 2009 (TASR).

These are outlined here.

Becoming a Registered Tax Agent in Australia can open many doors for your career.

At Applied Education in Perth, we have TPD-approved education options available for those needing a primary accounting qualification and/or board approved course. You can read about our tax agent course here.  Contact us to find out more today.

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