[Media Release] Small business should be aware of the dangers of using unregistered BAS Agents, Association of Accounting Technicians warns

The Association of Accounting Technicians (AAT) Australia has warned small business operators and members of the public about the activities of unregistered BAS Agents who are currently advertising their services and operating throughout Australia.

AAT has warned those using the services of BAS Agents and bookkeepers to check carefully that they are registered.

"The use of unregistered BAS Agents can result in serious business and financial loss for those using their services," AAT Chief Executive Officer Stuart Norman said .

AAT's public warning follows a letter-writing campaign by the Association to Federal Government ministers, alerting them to the prevalence of unregistered Agents and urging them to provide additional resources to the Tax Practitioners Board in the May Budget to allow it to increase its investigation and compliance activities against unregistered Agents.

"The activities of unregistered BAS Agents is particularly relevant with the Government embarking on its tax reform consultation process," Mr Norman said. "The reform process is partly driven by the Government's need to safeguard revenue sources. The activities of unregistered Agents is a threat to revenue."

AAT Australia is the peak body representing the country's largest professional body in the accounting / bookkeeping sector. AAT has over 2000 members and provides a commitment to high standards, professionalism, recognition and status for professionals including BAS Agents, self-employed bookkeepers; payroll officers and other accounting support staff. AAT members are mostly small business people in their own right and provide essential services to other small businesses who are their clients.

The Tax Practitioners Board has warned that businesses using an unregistered agent are not protected under the safe harbour provisions of the Taxation Administration Act, if they the agent is negligent. In addition unregistered agents may not have the qualifications or experience required of a registered agent and may not have Professional indemnity insurance cover.

AAT applauds the compliance activities of the Tax Practitioners Board but believes it is under-resourced to uncover unregistered Agents who pose a danger to their clients and to government revenue.

Registered BAS Agents are legally able to provide services in relation to Business Activity Statement (BAS) returns and other returns including building and construction industry Taxable Payments Reports, Superannuation Guarantee and Superannuation Guarantee Charge and Superannuation Contribution
payment reports.

Only registered Agents are permitted to display the Tax Practitioner Board's Registered Agent logo. Businesses wanting to establish whether an Agent is registered can search the TPB's register here and find more information about registered and unregistered Agents.


For further information and comment please contact

Stuart Norman

Chief Executive Officer

Association of Accounting Technicians Australia

Phone: 0427 496 434 or 03 8665-3159


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