New regulations have been brought into Australia that require tax agents and BAS agents must register with a new Tax Practitioners Board, which has replaced the six individual state boards. Membership fees will apply, and will be set at $500 for tax agents and $100 for BAS agents carrying on a business, with $250 and $50 for agents not carrying on a business.
Professionals registered under the old regimes will be registered for the new scheme automatically, but those not registered must do so now.
Additionally, tax agents will now require tertiary qualifications, a diploma, admission to legal practice or work experience including eight years of full-time work within the industry during the previous decade.
BAS agents require an accounting qualification, such as a certificate, and work experience within the previous two years. The new code of conduct will also come with civil penalties, which include a written caution, an order to complete some form of education or suspension and termination of registration.
The relevent sections regarding the requirements for Professional indemnity insurance is Part 2
Registration Division 20 (3) If the Board grants your application, the Board may, by written
notice, require you to maintain professional indemnity insurance as specified
Part 3 The Code of Professional Conduct Division 30 (13) You must maintain the professional indemnity insurance that the Board requires you to maintain.
The need to have PI comes in from 1 July 2011 and I know many Tax Agents thought cover was too expensive. Well it is still very competitive for the Accounting type professions and Tax Agents are considered less of a risk than Auditors or Insolvency Practitioners. For many, it is just an issue of the minimum premium being too high. However there are insurers with much lower Minimums particularly if the Broker is prepared to do the business on-line. As well, the smaller operators are likely to only require $250,000 cover.
We can find cover out there for this amount for as little as $275 plus charges.
So if you are a Tax Agent, call us now on 07 3123 1137