Did you know that 96% of small businesses across Australia rely on tax or BAS agents to assist them in managing their tax and super? There are many benefits of using a registered agent and there are also obligations that need to be met by individuals and their tax agents when seeking GST and Tax advice.
What are the benefits of using a registered agent?
- They can provide you with consumer protection through professional indemnity insurance
- Extended tax and BAS lodgement due dates
- They are experienced and qualified and comply with a professional code of conduct
Good to know:
- Only registered agents can charge a fee for providing tax or BAS services
- Tax or BAS agents must be registered with the Tax Practitioners Board
- If your bookkeeper prepares your BAS they need to be registered with the TPB unless they are employed by your business or they work for a registered tax agent
What to expect from your tax practitioner:
- To better understand your situation, they will ask you lots of questions
- To make claims on your behalf they will require you to substantiate claims and provide evidence
- Even if in your best interests, they will not act illegally
- You’ll be advised of your obligations under the tax laws
As a taxpayer, it is your obligation to:
- Be honest and transparent when it comes to the information you provide to your tax practitioner
- Ensure you keep the required records and provide them to your tax practitioner in a timely fashion
- Be cooperative and keep to their due dates
Failing to meet your obligations may result in the ATO imposing penalties, interest charges may be applied and worst case, criminal prosecutions may be sought.
Your tax practitioner is obligated to:
- Act honestly and with integrity
- Act lawfully in regards to your best interests and advise you of any conflicts
- Take reasonable care to ascertain your state of affairs and to apply the tax laws correctly
- Competently provide their service
- Advise you of your rights and obligations under the taxation laws on a timely basis and return funds to you
- Not make false or misleading statements to the ATO
Failing to meet these obligations can result in them receiving written cautions or orders or the suspension or termination of their registration which means they won’t be able to practice. In more serious cases they may be fined by the Federal Court.
It is always good to be aware and have a good understanding of what is involved and expected when you engage with any tax practitioner.
Many registered tax practitioners will ask you to sign a letter of engagement, which sets out both parties' obligations in relation to the work to be done by the practitioner.
If you have any questions about any of the information covered in this article feel free to discuss with your tax agent. If you are a Vision Beyond Business client, feel free to give us a call to discuss any of the above.