Inspire Education's news

How to Become a Registered BAS Agent

23 Comments   Posted:   by

How to Become a Registered BAS Agent

What are BAS and BAS Agents?

BAS stands for Business Activity Statements, while BAS Agents are registered accountants and bookkeepers that offer BAS-related services for a fee.

Businesses use BAS to account for and pay a number of tax obligations to the Australian Taxation Office. These government statements include:

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

Do you need BAS Agent Registration?

You need to be registered with the Tax Practitioners Board (TPB) if you want to provide BAS-related or tax agent services in exchange for a fee or other compensation.

If you are NOT a BAS Agent or a Registered Tax Agent, you may still provide BAS services, but you cannot charge a fee, or receive money or some other compensation.

According to the TPB website, BAS services relate to (1) “working out or advising about liabilities, obligations or entitlements of clients under a BAS provision” or (2) “representing a client in their dealings with the Commissioner of Taxation in relation to a BAS provision,” if the client is expected to rely on the bookkeeper’s service to “satisfy liabilities or obligations, or to claim entitlements, under a BAS provision.”

Additionally, there are services the TPB has declared as BAS services even if they are not in the definition of a BAS provision. Even lawyers who prepare or lodge tax returns need to be registered as tax or BAS agents. However, registration requirements for them are not part of the definition of BAS services; instead these are set out in section 50-10 of the Tax Agent Services Act 2009 (TASA).

The same Act also penalises unregistered individuals who are proven to have provided BAS sevices for a fee or reward, advertised BAS services, and/or represented themselves as registered BAS agents.

BAS Registration Requirements

How to become a registered BAS agent infographic

These are the core requirements for BAS agent registration:

• You must be at least 18 years of age
• You must be a ‘fit and proper person
• You must maintain, or will be able to maintain, professional indemnity insurance coverage that meets the requirements
• You must complete an online application and submit supporting documents
• You must meet the work experience requirements
• You must meet the qualification requirements

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 the Certificate IV in Accounting and Bookkeeping from a Registered Training Organisation or an equivalent institution
• You must complete a TPB approved course in basic GST/BAS taxation principles

Option B:

• You must have been awarded a higher level certification than a Certificate IV in Accounting and Bookkeeping (the Diploma of Accounting, an Advanced Diploma of Accounting, or a degree) from a Registered Training Organisation or an equivalent institution
• You must complete a TPB approved course in basic GST/BAS taxation principles

Experience Requirements

You also need relevant work experience to register as a BAS Agent. This may include:

• Working as a registered tax agent or BAS agent
• Working under the supervision and control of a registered tax agent or BAS agent
• Other relevant work, as approved by the TPB (e.g., work as an academic teacher in relevant taxation laws)

Work experience must include substantial involvement in one or more BAS-related services as defined by the Tax Agent Services Act (2009). Preparing returns for payroll tax and other state tax obligations are NOT considered relevant experience.

To successfully register, you will need evidence of doing hours of relevant work. First-time registrants will also be asked to demonstrate relevant experience.

• If you have a tertiary qualification in bookkeeping – 1,400 hours of 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 – 1,000 hours of relevant experience in the last 4 years


If you meet all the requirements and have obtained all your supporting documents, then you can now apply for BAS Agent registration!

Eligible BAS Agent Courses

Inspire Education (RTO #32067) delivers two (2) accounting and bookkeeping courses that are able to fulfil the training requirements for becoming a BAS Agent:

• Certificate IV in Accounting and Bookkeeping

• Diploma of Accounting

Both of these courses include two (2) essential units that meet the training requirements** for GST/BAS taxation principles:

• FNSTPB401 Complete business activity and instalment activity statements
• FNSTPB402 Establish and maintain payroll systems

**Undertaking a supervised TPB exam is also required

Registration Period and Cost

Once successful, registration as a BAS Agent generally lasts for three years. If you plan to continue as a BAS Agent after that period, you will have to apply for renewal—remember to do this 30 days BEFORE your current registration expires!

BAS Agent registration fee is $137 (not subject to GST). This can be paid in full upon registration.

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

BAS Agent Registration Summary

You must formally register as a BAS Agent to earn from doing BAS services for businesses and individuals.

You need the following to be qualified for registration:

1. You must have been awarded with an accounting and/or bookkeeping course (Certificate IV in Accounting and Bookkeeping or a Diploma of Accounting, or higher)
2. You must complete a TPB approved course in basic GST/BAS taxation principles
3. You must have completed 1,400 hours of relevant work experience under a registered tax or BAS agent (1,000 hours for members of recognised BAS Agent associations)

Also, don’t forget the following details:

1. $137 application fee, not subject to GST
2. Registration is valid for 3 years and will need to be renewed 30 days 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.


There’s 23 comments (add a comment)

  • marzieh says:

    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?


    • 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.



  • Joe says:


    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.



  • 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 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:

    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


  • 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:

      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?

  • Mina says:

    Hi there,

    May I know if the TPB considers work experience overseas to meet that 1000 hours? Im an IPA member, took up Cert IV in Accounting from TAFE and wants to become BAS agent. Hours of experience is what i need.

    Is that possible? Thank you


    • Joshua says:

      Hi Mina. Our Enrolment Coordinator would be glad to help you regarding your concern about the BAS registration. Please enquire here to get in touch.

  • Leave a Reply to Md. Salah uddin

    Click here to cancel reply.


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