Home Member Resources News BAS Agent Association Group Key messages - 29 August 2017
Member Resources

BAS Agent Association Group Key messages - 29 August 2017

Saturday, 23 September 2017

Below are the key messages from the The BAS Agent Association Group (BASAAG) meeting held on Tuesday 29 August 2017.

Protect your practice
The Tax Practitioners Board (TPB) has released updated guidance related to cyber security for registered tax agents and BAS agents. The TPB professional indemnity (PI) insurance and continuing professional education (CPE) guidance has been updated to reflect the emerging threat of cyber-attacks and the importance of tax practitioners proactively protecting themselves, their practice and their clients.

The TPB recommends that tax practitioners consider taking out additional PI insurance cover to assist with first party losses arising from a cyber-attack. Having adequate coverage in place can protect against business interruption, damaged equipment and lost reputation. Examples of first party loss include malicious destruction of data, virus, malware, spyware, accidental damage of data, human error, electrical power surges/natural disasters, IT system failure and cyber extortion threats.

The TPB recognises that cyber security awareness training can assist tax practitioners to protect themselves from a cyber-attack. As a result, cyber security awareness training is now recognised as contributing to meeting CPE requirements with the Board.


Single Touch Payroll

From 1 July 2018 Single Touch Payroll reporting will be mandatory for employers with 20 or more employees. Employers will need to complete a headcount of employees as at 1 April 2018. The headcount can be done after 1 April 2018 but must include those employed on this date. Employers do not need to include new employees who start after 1 April 2018.

Substantial employers will be required to report pay as you go (PAYG) withholding and superannuation information to the ATO from 1 July 2018 via their Business Management Software. Depending on circumstances exemptions or deferrals may be granted if these employers are unable to meet all or part of their single touch payroll obligations.

Business rules and scenarios are being finalised to assist digital service providers in interpreting what is required to enable an employer to meet their single touch payroll obligation. The draft employer guide is also under development. This guide is a version of the business rules and software developer’s guide designed for the employer audience and will be published as web content.

Engagement activities are continuing with substantial employer groups. A bulk correspondence email or letter is proposed to issue in late September 2017. The correspondence will be tailored depending on employer size to ensure audiences are getting the right messaging at the right time. For example, the letter will contain messaging focused on the business rules and deferrals framework for large
employers (where it is possible their solution will not be ready). Smaller employers will receive messaging around how to do their employee headcount.

An employer fact sheet has been developed to assist in further understanding of single touch payroll, what employers need to do and when. A copy of this document can be requested by emailing SingleTouchPayroll@ato.gov.au

For more information visit Single Touch Payroll


Consultation on Activity Statement changes

The ATO is in the process of updating digital services for tax practitioners. Members were consulted on the new Business Activity Statement form and some additional features and fixes that are currently being considered and co designed with tax practitioners. This consultation will contribute to an improved Business Activity Statement on the portal.

The ATO continues to consult and communicate with the tax professional community with regards to the transition of existing portal services to the ATO Online and enhanced services delivered into practice management software.


Tips and links

ATO webinars and webcasts provide you with a range of online information and practical assistance on various topics relevant to you, your practice and your clients.

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