The New BAS Agent Laws And What They Mean To You

Tue 9th Oct, 2012

Why does a bookkeeper need to be a BAS Agent?

Overview Of The New Laws

From 1 March 2010, new legislation known as the Tax Agent Services Act 2009 took effect.

The laws have seen the introduction of a national Tax Practitioners Board who, among other things, oversee and regulate the supply of BAS Services to the public. Only bookkeepers who have applied to the Board for registration as a BAS Agent are permitted to render BAS services to their clients. The laws impose a range of civil penalties ranging from $5,500 to $137,500 (per offence) for bookkeepers illegally providing BAS services.

BAS Agents under the new system are subject to a Code of Professional Conduct which imposes a range of obligations, one of which is the compulsion to hold Professional Indemnity Insurance to a Board-specified level. BAS Agents are also subject to a range of administrative sanctions and civil penalties. Clients of BAS Agents benefit from so-called safe harbour provisions which provide relief from penalties in the case of error or late lodgment by the BAS Agent.

In order to become registered as a BAS Agent under the Tax Agent Services Act, a bookkeeper must satisfy the Board that they meet certain criteria. Firstly, the applicant must be a "fit and proper person". Secondly, the applicant must satisfy an educational criterion, which at a minimum requires the attainment of a Certificate IV Financial Services (Accounting) or Certificate IV Financial Services (Bookkeeping). Thirdly, the applicant must demonstrate a required number of hours of "relevant experience" in the past three years.

Transitional Regulations are also in place to offer bookkeepers a reasonable period of time to meet all of these requirements.

Where Do I Currently Stand & What Does It Mean for You?

We are pleased to advise that both Taylor & Moore and Sharron Taylor are registered as a BAS Agents under the Tax Agent Services Act 2009. Since we are registered a BAS Agent, we can legally provide BAS Services to you & your business.

The benefits to you are that you can take comfort from the knowledge that your BAS Services are being provided by a registered and competent professional who is operating at a much higher level than a standard bookkeeper.

For further information please visit the following ATO Tax Practitioners Board website for further information: or the ATO Website:

Back to Articles