AST GVT Tax Agents Code Amendment


On Dec. 10, AST GVT proposed adding obligations to code of conduct.


  • AST GVT released exposure draft Tax agent services (code of professional conduct) determination 2023, which contains proposed additional obligations that would supplement the obligations already set out in the Code of professional conduct.
  • Published exposure draft explanatory statement re same; linked to a related factsheet.
  • Follows AST GVT Sep. 2023 proposed amending law re practitioners, PwC, #185267.
  • Proposal Overview
  • AST GVT explained that the Tax agent services act 2009 (cth) includes code above which imposes a range of obligations on tax agents and business activity statement (BAS) agents that the AST GVT can supplement through a legislative instrument.
  • Draft determination forms part of AST GVT's response to the PwC matter, #181361.
  • Relates to priority area identified in PwC response, re increasing powers of regulators.
  • Draft determination aims to improve public trust and confidence in the tax profession.
  • Further Detail
  • AST GVT said instrument is part of a larger range of measures giving greater efficacy to the Tax Practitioners Board’s (TPB's) regulation of the tax practitioner profession.
  • This comes after amendments to the act that introduced the concept of disqualified entities who, due to certain findings of misconduct, cannot be used to provide tax agent services on behalf of a tax practitioner without TPB's permission, #154010.
  • Instrument elaborates on and supplements the code to outline the high professional and ethical standards expected by the community of individual tax practitioners.
  • This improves transparency and accountability, giving the public greater confidence.
  • Instrument contributes to strengthening of regulatory framework and regulation of the profession in context of recent public scrutiny of misconduct in the profession.
  • Some professional and ethical obligations found in instrument are general in nature, others specify obligations relating to dealings with AST GVT as a client.
  • Consultation End
  • The comment period for this consultation closes on Jan. 21, 2024.
  • Jul. 2024 AST GVT Registered Instrument
  • On Jul. 2, 2024, AST GVT registered Tax agent services (code of professional conduct) determination 2024, with respect to the consultation above; commences Aug. 1, 2024.
  • In addition, AST GVT published an explanatory statement regarding the instrument.
  • A total of 9 public submissions were received, including a joint submission representing 8 professional associations; submissions broadly supported the instrument's intent.
  • Namely, of ensuring high standards in profession; while some supported instrument as drafted, many sought greater guidance on how the proposed new obligations would apply in practice; a range of amendments have been made to instrument as a result.
  • The majority of these give greater clarity and detail on how obligations will apply in different scenarios, while retaining appropriate flexibility; some amendments address gaps raised via stakeholder feedback and others clarify interactions with existing laws.
  • In addition, Tax Practitioners Board (TPB) will also issue guidance materials intended to support registered tax practitioners to comply with the new obligations in the code.

Regulators AST GVT
Entity Types Auditor; Corp; IB
Reference Info, RF F2024L00849, 7/2/2024; CP, PR 12/10/2023; Citation: Tax agent services act 2009 (cth); Tax agent services (code of professional conduct) determination 2024;
Functions Accounting; Compliance; Legal; Market Conduct; Registration/Licensing; Tax
Countries Australia
Category
State
Products Corporate
Regions AP
Rule Type Final
Rule Date 12/10/2023
Effective Date 8/1/2024
Rule Id 194123
Linked to Rule :185267
Reg. Last Update 7/2/2024
Report Section International

Last substantive update on 07/05/2024