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BAS agent registration: 4 steps to become a BAS agent

If you’re a bookkeeper or accountant and thinking of registering as a BAS agent (Business Activity Statement agent), this guide is for you. 

Since the BAS agent laws came into effect in March 2010, the Tax Practitioners Board (TPB) regulates and registers who can become a BAS agent, tax agent or tax (financial) advisor (collectively referred to as 'tax practitioners').

In this guide, we’ll explain: 

  • Who can register as a BAS agent

  • How to become a BAS agent – qualifications, requirements and costs

  • How to register as a BAS agent

  • How to maintain your BAS registration

Let’s jump in!

Who can register as a BAS agent?

A BAS agent is a person or business registered under the Tax Agent Services Act 2009 (TASA) to provide a BAS service.

A BAS service includes:

  • Advising about liabilities, obligations or entitlements of clients under a BAS provision.

  • Representing a client in their dealings with the Commissioner of Taxation about a BAS provision.

The TASA legislation allows individuals, partnerships, and companies to register as BAS agents.

BAS agent qualifications and requirements

If you wish to charge for BAS services, you must register with the Tax Practitioners Board (TPB).

Applicants must obtain minimum accounting qualifications and supervised experience outlined in the Tax Agent Services Regulations 2022 (TASR). There are 2 options depending on your background or experience, but both include:

  • Accounting qualification

  • GST/BAS course completion

  • Relevant experience

But before that, there are some requirements regarding age and background.

Age and background

You can apply for BAS registration if you meet the following requirements:

  • You must be at least 18 years old.

  • You must be a fit and proper person, meaning:

    • You have a good reputation in the community.

    • You have no severe offence convictions, including tax offences or other fraud or dishonesty offences.

    • You have never been to prison.

    • You aren't an undischarged bankrupt.

  • You must satisfy the qualification and experience requirements.

  • You must maintain professional indemnity insurance.

  • You must complete an online application and provide supporting documents.

Accounting qualifications

If you take the accounting qualifications route, you’ll need:

Professional association membership

If you apply via the professional membership option, you’ll need:

Gain relevant experience

Finally, you’ll need to gain relevant experience, which means hands-on experience providing one or more BAS services. For example, you could prepare books and records for a business under the supervision of a registered BAS agent. 

Your work experience needs to be verified by your supervisor/s using a Statement of Relevant Experience (SRE) form.

What is the cost of BAS agent registration?

When you apply for BAS agent registration, you must pay the application fee of $156 (not subject to GST).

How to become a registered BAS agent

There are 4 steps to becoming a registered BAS agent. 

1. Get your qualifications

You’ll need to obtain either Certificate IV Financial Services (Bookkeeping) or Certificate IV Financial Services (Accounting) from a registered training organisation. You’ll also need to complete a board-approved course covering GST and BAS taxation principles.

Note: Monarch’s FNS40217 Certificate IV in Accounting and Bookkeeping covers both qualification and board-approved course requirements.

2. Get your work experience

You can complete your supervised work experience while you study or after your studies, as long as it’s within the last 4 years before you register. Several groups offer BAS agent supervision programs specifically for this purpose. Or, you could approach local BAS or Tax agents and offer your services in return for supervision. Whatever you choose, make sure you get your Statement of Relevant Experience (SRE) form signed.

3. Get your insurance

Next, you’ll need to arrange your professional indemnity insurance to protect yourself from any claims against you. You can determine the level of insurance required by the turnover of your business as a BAS agent. 

4. Register with the Tax Practitioners Board

Once you have your training, experience (including the SRE), and insurance, you register with the Tax Practitioners Board (TPB). 

Requirements once registered

Once you’ve registered as a BAS agent, you must follow a Code of Professional Conduct. The Code regulates your personal and professional conduct under 5 categories:

  1. Honesty and integrity

  2. Independence

  3. Confidentiality

  4. Competence

  5. Other responsibilities

One of the competence requirements is to complete continuing professional education (CPE) that meets TPB requirements. You should maintain a comprehensive record of your CPE activities, as it may be required as evidence when renewing your application. 

You should keep records for 6 years unless you’re a member of a recognised professional association, in which case you should follow its requirements.

The TPB requires you to complete a minimum of 45 hours’ CPE within a standard 3-year registration period, with a minimum of 5 hours each year.

Maintaining your BAS agents registration

To maintain your BAS agents registration, you must:

  • Complete an annual declaration to demonstrate you meet your ongoing obligations.

  • Notify the TPB of changes to your registration details or circumstances.

  • Comply with the Code of Professional Conduct.

  • Renew your BAS agent registration on time.

Annual declaration for BAS agents

You must complete your annual declaration to demonstrate and assure the TPB that you meet its ongoing registration requirements, including:

Note: There’s no charge for the annual declaration process.

Change of details or circumstances

You must notify the TPB of any changes to your details or circumstances within 30 days, including:

  • Contact details.

  • Practice structure.

  • Legal or trading name.

  • Events relevant to your registration.

  • Changes to professional association membership.

Code of Professional Conduct

You must comply with the Code of Professional Conduct. For example, you must:

  • Act honestly and with integrity.

  • Complete your personal tax obligations.

  • Always act in your clients’ best interests.

  • Keep client information confidential.

  • Provide competent BAS services.

  • Maintain relevant BAS knowledge and skills.

  • Advise clients of their tax rights and obligations.

  • Maintain professional indemnity insurance cover.

  • Respond to requests and directions in a timely, responsible and reasonable manner.

Renew your BAS agent registration

You must renew your BAS agent registration at least 30 days, but not more than 90 days, before it expires. You'll remain registered until the application is decided or withdrawn, whichever occurs first. If approved, your registration will run for a minimum of 3 years.

If you fail to renew your BAS agent registration on time and it expires, you can't charge for BAS services. Furthermore, you'll no longer have access to the Australian Taxation Office’s (ATO’s) online services, like Online services for agents.

Cancelling your BAS agents registration

You can cancel your BAS agent registration for various reasons, such as:

  • You plan to sell your practice or retire.

  • You need to change your business structure and register a new entity.

  • You become an employee of a registered tax practitioner.

It’s also worth noting that the TPB may terminate your registration for various reasons, including:

  • You breached a condition of registration.

  • You breached the Code of Professional Conduct.

  • You no longer meet one of the requirements for continuing registration.

  • Your company is no longer registered with ASIC.

Prepare and lodge BAS with MYOB

If you’re a bookkeeper or accountant and wish to charge for BAS services, you need to register as a BAS agent with the TPB.

You’ll need to obtain minimum accounting qualifications and supervised experience before paying a registration fee.

Once you’ve registered, you must comply with a Code of Professional Conduct and complete continuing professional education to maintain your registration.

To make your job easier, MYOB’s online accounting software automatically pre-fills GST to BAS, so you'll always know how much your business or clients owe without any manual calculations or nasty surprises.

Disclaimer: Information provided in this article is of a general nature and does not consider your personal situation. It does not constitute legal, financial, or other professional advice and should not be relied upon as a statement of law, policy or advice. You should consider whether this information is appropriate to your needs and, if necessary, seek independent advice. This information is only accurate at the time of publication. Although every effort has been made to verify the accuracy of the information contained on this webpage, MYOB disclaims, to the extent permitted by law, all liability for the information contained on this webpage or any loss or damage suffered by any person directly or indirectly through relying on this information.

MYOB is not a registered entity pursuant to the Tax Agent Services Act 2009 (TASA) and therefore cannot provide taxation advice to clients. If you have a query concerning taxation, including filing your BAS return or annual tax statements, then you should consult with your accountant or other registered tax adviser.

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