Inspire Education's news

How to Become a Registered BAS Agent

21 Comments   Posted:   by

Overtime and going home late is now a work health and safety issue

What are BAS and BAS Agents?

BAS stands for Business Activity Statements. BAS Agents are registered accountants or bookkeepers that offer BAS related services for a fee.

BAS are used by businesses to report and pay a number of tax obligations. Some individuals who also need to provide quarterly pay-as-you-go tax instalments also use Activity Statements.

Business Activity Statements include:

• Goods and Services Tax (GST)
• Pay As You Go (PAYG) income tax installment
• Fringe Benefits Tax (FBT) installment
• Luxury Car Tax (LCT)
• Wine Equalisation Tax (WET)
• Fuel Tax Credits
• Installment notices for GST and PAYG installments

Do you need BAS Agent Registration?

You must be registered with the Tax Practitioners Board (TPB) if you provide tax agent services or BAS services for a fee or other reward.

If you are NOT a BAS or registered tax agent, you must not charge a fee, or receive money or some other compensation, if you provide a service which you know, or should know, is a BAS service.

BAS Services relate to:

• Working out and advising about a client’s liabilities, obligations, or entitlements under a BAS provision.
• Dealing with the Commissioner of Taxation, in relation to a BAS provision, as a representative of a client.
• Situations where it is reasonable to expect that the client will rely on tax agent services to satisfy liabilities or obligations, or to claim entitlements that occur under a BAS provision.

Lawyers who are preparing or lodging tax returns must also be registered. Registration requirements for lawyers are not part of the definition of BAS services, and are set out in section 50-10 of the Tax Agent Services Act 2009 (TASA).

Registration Requirements

The core requirements to register as a BAS Agent are:

• You must be at least 18 years of age to apply for BAS Agent Registration.
• You must be a ‘fit and proper person’
• You must have relevant work experience
• You must be qualified

Training Requirements

There are 2 options for qualifying for BAS Agent Registration. You only have to satisfy one of these two training requirements.

Option A:

• You must have been awarded a Certificate IV in Financial Services, which can be the Certificate IV in Bookkeeping or Certificate IV in Accounting, from a Registered Training Organisation or equivalent,
• You must complete a TPB approved course in basic GST/BAS taxation principles. This course can be included in your chosen Financial Services course

Option B:

• You must have been awarded a higher award than a Certificate IV in Bookkeeping or Accounting, like a bachelor’s degree or a Diploma of  Accounting, from a Registered Training Organisation or equivalent,
• You must complete a TPB approved course in basic GST/BAS taxation principles. This course can be included in your higher award course.

Experience Requirements

You also need relevant work experience to register as a BAS Agent.

This includes work:

• as a registered tax agent or BAS agent
• under the supervision and control of a registered tax agent or BAS agent
• of another kind, approved by the TPB.

Work experience must include substantial involvement in the one or more of the BAS services defined by the Tax Agent Services Act (2009).

You will need to demonstrate:

• 1400 hours relevant experience in the last 4 years; or
• 1000 hours relevant experience in the last 4 years if you are a voting member of a recognised BAS Agent association or a recognised tax agent association.

Required statements (evidence) include:

• academic transcripts from your relevant courses with evidence of completion,
• statement(s) of relevant work experience,
• names and details of two independent referees,
• membership details of any recognised BAS or tax agent association.

If you meet all the requirements and have obtained all your supporting documents, you can apply for registration.

Eligible BAS Agent Courses

Inspire Education delivers two courses that are able to fulfil the BAS agent training requirements:

• Certificate IV in Bookkeeping

• Certificate IV in Accounting

Both of these courses include two essential units that meet the training requirements for GST/BAS taxation principles:

• FNSBKG404A Carry out business activity and installment activity statement task
• FNSBKG405A Establish and maintain a payroll system

Registration Period

Registration as a BAS Agent generally lasts for three years.

If you plan to continue as a BAS Agent, it is best to apply for renewal of your BAS Agent registration 30 days BEFORE it expires.

Registration Cost

Fees for BAS Agent registration are:

$100 if you are running a business as a BAS Agent
$50 if you are not running a business as a BAS Agent

For more information, visit the Registering as an Individual BAS Agent page

Please note the BAS Agent registration requirements are different for a partnership or company.

BAS Agent Registration Summary

You must formally register as a BAS agent to earn and make a career out of BAS services. You need the following to be qualified for registration:

1. At least a Certificate IV in Bookkeeping or a Certificate IV in Accounting
2. 1000 to 1400 hours of relevant work experience under a registered tax or BAS agent

Also, don’t forget the following details:

1. $100 fee if you are running a business or a $50 fee if otherwise
2. Registration is valid for 3 years and will need to be renewed before it expires

Start working towards your BAS agent registration today and see where it takes your life and career!

The following two tabs change content below.
William Cowie

William Cowie

William Cowie

Latest posts by William Cowie (see all)

You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

Comments

There’s 21 comments (add a comment)

  • marzieh says:

    Hi,
    How can I apply for this job?

    • William Cowie William Cowie says:

      Hi Marzieh,

      Registered BAS agents can apply for jobs with bookkeeping businesses, as an in-house bookkeeper for a business or start their own business as a contract bookkeeper. If you’re looking for a job, try job hire websites and cold call businesses in your local area. Good luck with your job hunt!

      • Md. Salah uddin says:

        Dear William Cowie,
        I Completed Chartered Accountancy course from Bangladesh. I live in Bangladesh. Now I want to be a Australian BAS Agent. Can you Inform me how I will be a BAS agent?

        Best regards
        Salah Uddin

        • Luke Imbong Luke Imbong says:

          Hi Salah! Thanks for reading the article. It’s great that you already have a background in accounting, but you still have to get the equivalent qualification in Australia. The good news is, if you can provide significant evidence and proof that your accountancy course has similar topics and skills as the Certificate IV in Bookkeeping or the Certificate IV in Accounting, then you can get recognition for those and not have to do the entire course. Getting these qualifications is the first step since they fulfill the training requirements to become a BAS Agent. If you have more questions, please feel free to ask our Enrolment Coordinator. Simply click here to go to the Cert IV in Bookkeeping page to enquire and send us a message. Hope that helps!

  • Kieran says:

    Hi William,

    For relevant work experience. Say I am currently doing bookkeeping services for clients but have no experience preparing BAS. I am self employed and do not have access to a registered BAS agent. Can I offer to do my clients’ BAS free of charge and count that as experience?

    Thanks.

    • William Cowie William Cowie says:

      Hi Kieran,

      As part of your BAS Agent registration, you need to complete a “Statement of Relevant Experience for BAS Agent” form. The TPB website says “A SRE must be signed by your supervising registered BAS or tax agent. Alternatively, you can make a statutory declaration detailing the BAS services provided and the reasons you are unable to provide an appropriately signed SRE. You should also provide independent verification of your experience.

      What you’re proposing may be technically possible, but please contact the TPB before trying it. I can see some possible issues eg liability – if you make a mistake, will your professional indemnity insurance protect you? Will your clients be protected? Would it affect your eligibility as a “fit and proper person” for BAS Agent registration?

      There are other solutions. For instance, if you can find a partner BAS Agent you can participate in the preparation and lodgement process to get your hours up and then have your work checked and lodged by the registered agent. Some professional bookkeeping associations in Australia offer this service to their members. This way you can start developing your experience while ensuring everyone is protected legally and financially. It also means you may be able to charge your clients for these services!

      You can read more about relevant experience for BAS Agents here.

      Regards,

      Will.

  • Joe says:

    Hi,

    I am planning to register for BAS agent. I have an Accounting Degree and I am in the process of completing of CPA.

    I have 2 years bookkeeping work experiences under an accounting firm. It has resulted I earned more than 1400 hours.

    In this case, do I still need to get the GST/BAS taxation principles (GST/BAS course) in order to meet the requirement?

    Please advise. Thanks.

    • William Cowie William Cowie says:

      Hi Joe,

      I’m not able to assess your qualifications and provide you with a definite answer. I can try to point you in the right direction. It sounds like your accounting qualifications fall under “Option 2” for registration which says:

    • have been awarded a higher award than a Certificate IV in the field of bookkeeping or accounting from a registered training organisation or equivalent institution (for example, a Diploma, Advanced Diploma or Degree), and
    • have successfully completed a Board approved course in basic GST/BAS taxation principles (which may be included in the higher award).
    • According to those requirements, you do still need to complete the basic units in GST/BAS taxation principles. The TPB has a list of equivalent or partially equivalent units which you may be able to use for this requirement. You can find them in the BAS Agent Qualifications List.

      However, you should contact the Tax Practitioners Board directly and ask them about your qualifications. They are the only ones able to make a definitive assessment of your qualifications for BAS Agent registration.

      Cheers,

      Will.

  • Sarina says:

    Hi Will,
    I completed a Bachelor of Accounting from Flinders University in 2010 & have been working in office administration ever since. For the past 2 years part of my role has included a finance component & I am required to prepare BAS statements on a quarterly basis. I am keen to increase my hours of work by becoming a contract bookkeeper working from home but at times this seems quite daunting. What would you recommend to be my first few steps in doing so?
    I have asked my husband to canvass his friends who are self employed & my friend who occasionally does BAS returns will keep me in mind when he is required to complete his next return.

    • William Cowie William Cowie says:

      Hi Sarina,

      First off, if you want to provide BAS services as a contract bookkeeper, you do need to be a registered BAS Agent. It sounds like you already have some relevant experience and your degree should fulfil most of the educational requirements. You may still need to do the approved course in basic GST/BAS taxation principles (such as FNSBKG404A – Carry out Business Activity and Installment Activity Statement tasks and FNSBKG405A – Establish and maintain a payroll system) which we offer as part of our Certificate IV in Bookkeeping course. We can offer those as standalone units to save you completing the full Certificate IV, so give us a call on 1800 506 509 to discuss your training. If you are not sure you are eligible to register as a BAS Agent yet, contact the Tax Practitioners Board directly as they are the authority on BAS registration.

      For information about starting a small business, check business.gov.au. They have heaps of info about what registrations and licenses you will need, as well as a wealth of information about starting a business, business planning, business structures, taxation, etc. There are also many online resources, such as Flying Solo, which are catered to people operating their own small business. Flying Solo also includes a forum where you can ask questions, or browse and learn from other peoples’ experiences getting their business off the ground. If you do train with us you can also ask our bookkeeping trainer Rob for advice. He has extensive experience as a bookkeeper and in operating his own businesses, so is a great source of advice.

      To get started, I’d suggest:

      1. Do your research. The resources above are a good start and there are heaps more around. Talk to your potential customers and find out what they need. Also look at your successful competitors to see what they’re doing and work out why they do it. Remember that running your own business isn’t just providing the service, you also need to do your marketing, administration and management.
      2. While you research, create a checklist of everything you need to do to get started (eg registrations, training etc).
      3. Turn this into a proper business plan with timelines, costs and deadlines.

      Good luck! Let me know how it goes.

  • Anj says:

    Hi Will,
    I have a Masters degree in Accounting. I have worked as an Assistant Accountant, and as a Management accountant. I have been lodging BAS for the Group of companies I work for. I understand I might have to do the short course. But experience wise, do I need to show a letter from my employer? I am currently scaling back from Fulltime work as I have a baby. I am confused as to whether I satisfy the experience requirements. Can you please assist. thanks.

  • Desley says:

    I have a Cert III & IV in Financial Services, Cert II & III in Business Administration & I’m currently finishing my Cert IV in Business Administration, my problem is I want to set myself up as a Bookkeeper but even though I’ve volunteered to work for companies for nothing to be able to get my allotted amount of hrs for Bas Qualification none of the companies will do so because of insurance reasons & I have been unsuccessful in my attempts to find payed part-time work. So how is it possible to get the amount of hours the tax dept wants if no one will put you on? Des

  • Dhanesh says:

    Hi
    I have 3 1/2 years of Tax experience over seas working in an External Audit firm. This includes submission of GST returns , submission of income tax returns , etc

    On top of this I am working as an Accountant in Australia over the last two years as well

    Will this count as work experience to register as a BAS agent please

    Dhanesh

  • tahnee says:

    I work for a business (not in the financial industry)
    and have done their BAS for the last 4 years
    We have an external accountant however I send all the activity statements directly to the ATO
    does this count towards my hours?

    • LYNDSAY says:

      Hello
      I have a cert IV in bookkeeping and so have the required units to become a Registered BAS Agent. I am a bookkeeper for my own construction firm and have been doing the BAS returns and submitting thru the ATO portal for 4 years now, does this qualify as relevant work experience of another kind?

  • Karna says:

    Hi William,
    I am looking to start bookkeeping services, I have completed Master of Professional Accounting and at the moment, I am studying Certificate IV in Bookkeeping. As I haven’t got the required experience to get registered as BAS Agent. I am planning to enter a contract with registered Tax Agent as an Independent Bookkeeper, where I can approach the clients for the bookkeeping services and If I am not wrong, I can offer BAS Services, supervised under Tax Agent. As I will be working under supervision of Tax Agent, in my own location. Can I charge the clients for all the bookkeeping and BAS services under my business name, or I need to to charge it separately, as I am not a BAS/Tax Agent. Thanks.

  • Luke Smith says:

    Before reading this article I did not know what a BAS agent was. I would imagine that they would be good to get a hold of during tax season. I wonder how many business use these agents all the time.

  • oliver williams says:

    Timely post – I was enlightened by the details , Does anyone know where my company could possibly find a sample a form example to fill in ?

  • Em says:

    Hi there,
    Is doing the accounting and BAS for my husband (he is a sole trader), part of a relevant experience?
    thx
    Emy

  • Leave a Reply

    Whoops!!

    Could you please amend the form? We’ve highlighted the problem(s) for you...