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5 jobs your BAS Agent can’t do for you……

Following on from our previous blog, “20 jobs your BAS Agent can do for you”, I thought that it would also be good to advise you on the sorts of jobs your BAS Agent can’t do for you. BAS Agents are bound by a strict code of conduct as handed down by the Tax Practitioners Board (TPB) which among other things, forbids them from providing clients with Tax Agent services for a fee. Read on to see a list of these services.

Hand and yes/no buttons

Recently a BAS Agent in Melbourne was formally charged in the Federal Court of Australia for providing Tax Agent services for a fee. She was fined $43,000 (ouch!). The BAS Agent had contravened the Tax Agent Services Act 2009 by lodging income tax returns for a fee when she was clearly not registered as a Tax Agent with the TPB. As you can see, the penalties are fierce if a BAS Agent is found to be providing Tax Agent services for a fee.

 

So which services are off the BAS Agents’ services list?

Basically a BAS Agent cannot provide services relating to any income tax matters. Such matters may include:

  1. Preparation and lodgement of Income Tax returns
  2. Preparation and lodgement of Fringe Benefits Tax (FBT) returns
  3. Varying Pay as You go Instalments and FBT Instalments that appear on a Business Activity Statement (BAS)
  4. Providing technical advice on matters of Income Tax or FBT law
  5. Discussing on your behalf, matters relating to Tax Agent services with the ATO

All of these services can only be provided by a registered Tax Agent or accountant.

BAS Agents, in the course of preparing your BAS, may be required to deal with matters that are impacted by Income Tax or FBT law. These matters could include reportable FBT amounts, reportable superannuation contributions, the tax deductibility of entertainment or other items. In this case, a BAS Agent will take the advice from your Tax Agent or accountant as how to deal with such matters on your behalf to ensure that your BAS is prepared correctly.

e-BAS Accounts is a registered BAS Agent and as such we can only provide BAS services. For any of the above Income Tax related services, please seek advice from a registered Tax Agent or accountant.

 

  • Dianne Jewell

    We can vary PAYG instalments on the BAS!

    • Hi Dianne. You pop up in all the cool places lol! In answer to your comment, BAS Agents can certainly fill in the details on the BAS for a client but they must not do the calculations – that’s the Tax Agent’s job. This is a quote from the Institute of Certified Bookkeepers which supports my statement:

      “We believe the BAS Agent can certainly fill in a variation on the BAS. It is calculating what the varied rate should be that is arguably the income tax agent’s role. To make a decision on the variation of the rate is to understand how income tax law applies to the client and therefore the understanding and application of income tax law. Therefore the alteration of the likely tax bill for a business is applying the tax law and is OUTSIDE the scope of work a BAS Agent can do. The Tax Agent or the business owner can direct a BAS Agent to vary the rate on the BAS, but the BAS Agent should NOT advise that the rate should be varied nor what the rate should be.”

      This is what I based my blog information on – hope that helps.

    • Dianne Jewell

      Ha ha! I knew you’d be relying on facts from somewhere! I’ll only do a variation if I have a request from the client and even then ask them why they want it. It is after all a prepayment of tax and if I can reconcile it with the data I have from their books I’ll do it. I guess what the ATO and ITB is trying to do is not have the BAS Agent engage in work that can get them into trouble.

    • Louise McLoughlin

      Yep correct! I never write about anything without first researching the facts. The simple fact is Diane that BAS Agents can’t calculate the PAYGI but Tax Agents certainly can. Because we are all bound by the TPB’s Code of Conduct, we all have to do what we’re told whether we agree with it or not.

    • Yep correct! I never write about anything without first researching the facts. The simple fact is Dianne that BAS Agents can’t calculate the PAYGI but Tax Agents certainly can. Because we are all bound by the TPB’s Code of Conduct, we all have to do what we’re told whether we agree with it or not.

    • Yes true. I guess nothing is forever and everything is up for change – even us lol!

  • Dianne Jewell

    Its funny they say “arguably’ though.