tax agents services act 2009

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1. 1 Tax Agents Services Act 2009 Arthur AthanasiouPartner & Accredited Tax Law Specialist

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8. 8 Who will be a tax (or BAS) agent? Continued BAS Service providers S90-10 defines a BAS Service Any service that: ascertains liabilities, obligations or entitlements under a BAS provision advising about liabilities, obligations or entitlements that arise under a BAS provision representing an entity in their dealings with Commissioner; and in circumstances where reasonable that entity can be expected to rely on the service

9. 9 Who will be a tax (or BAS) agent? Continued Not all items of work are BAS services A bookkeeper employed by a registered BAS Agent who reviews work to check for accuracy is not providing a BAS service A bookkeeper that installs accounting software, enters and codes transactions and prepares reports for proprietors to complete their BAS, is a BAS service It is the software that allows for the application and interpretation of the BAS provisions, and the bookkeeper's service can be expected to be relied upon Of itself, the coding and entry of transactions is not a BAS service

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15. 15 Code of Professional Conduct Continued Principles: Honesty and integrity Independence Confidentiality Competence Other responsibilities

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17. 17 Code of Professional Conduct Continued Independence (4) You must act lawfully in the best interests of your client (5) You must have in place adequate arrangements for the management of conflicts of interest that may arise in relation to the activities that you undertake in the capacity of a registered tax agent or BAS agent

18. 18 Code of Professional Conduct Continued Confidentiality (6) Unless you have a legal duty to do so, you must not disclose any information relating to a client’s affairs to a third party without your client’s permission

19. 19 Code of Professional Conduct Continued Competence (7) You must ensure that a tax agent service that you provide, or that is provided on your behalf, is provided competently (8) You must maintain knowledge and skills relevant to the tax agent services that you provide (9) You must take reasonable care in ascertaining a client’s state of affairs, to the extent that ascertaining the state of those affairs is relevant to a statement you are making or a thing you are doing on behalf of the client (10) You must take reasonable care to ensure that taxation laws are applied correctly to the circumstances in relation to which you are providing advice to a client

20. 20 Code of Professional Conduct Continued Other responsibilities (11) You must not knowingly obstruct the proper administration of the taxation laws (12) You must advise your client of the client’s rights and obligations under the taxation laws that are materially related to the tax agent services you provide (13) You must maintain the professional indemnity insurance that the Board requires you to maintain (14) You must respond to requests and directions from the Board in a timely, responsible and reasonable manner

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22. 22 Code of Professional Conduct Continued Competence - Example 3.32 Matilda is a registered tax agent. The majority of the tax agent services that Matilda provides involves the preparation and lodgment of income tax returns for small businesses in the suburb in which she practises. Matilda’s client, Thom, seeks tax advice on some mergers and acquisitions transactions that his company is contemplating. Provision of this advice involves areas of the taxation laws with which Matilda is not familiar. Matilda may be in breach of the Code if she provides the tax advice to Thom for a fee unless she can otherwise satisfy the Board that she is competent to give that advice.

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25. 25 Proposed penalties Continued For unregistered entities liability for civil penalties for engaging in conduct that is prohibited without registration, as follows: providing tax agent services or BAS services for a fee or other reward; advertising the provision of tax agent services or BAS services; and making representations of being registered

26. 26 Proposed penalties Continued For registered entities liability for civil penalties for engaging in conduct that is prohibited as follows: making a false or misleading statement; employing or using the services of an entity whose registration has been terminated in certain circumstances (ie within 1 year); and signing a declaration or statement that relates to a document which was prepared by an entity other than the tax agent or BAS agent, another tax agent or BAS agent, or an individual under the supervision and control of a tax agent or BAS agent the defence of taking reasonable steps to check accuracy is available

27. 27 Proposed penalties Continued Injunctions If the Board is satisfied that an entity is engaging in conduct that contravenes a civil penalty provision, for example, engaging in conduct that is prohibited without registration, it may apply to the Federal Court for an injunction to restrain or require certain conduct

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