BAS AGENT AND WHY YOU SHOULD USE THEM
WHAT IS A BAS AGENT?
A BAS Agent, like a Tax Agent, is required to register to provide BAS Services for a fee. BAS Agents are issued a licence by the Tax Practitioners Board allowing them to advise and ascertain clients about their liabilities, obligations or entitlements under a BAS Provision.
There are substantial penalties for anyone that provides BAS Services for a fee or reward, or advertising BAS services while unregistered.
WHY SHOULD I USE THEM?
BAS AGENT VS BOOKKEEPER
BAS Agents are bookkeepers with the legal licence to undertake bookkeeping duties plus handle BAS Provisions i.e complete & lodge your BAS & IAS returns. The difference is that BAS Agents require certain qualifications and experience in order to register as a BAS Agents. While bookkeepers are able to handle similar tasks, a registered BAS Agent is able to provide broader services for a business. This includes representing, advising or assisting the business in areas such as GST, WET, Fuel Tax, LCT, FBT and all aspects of payroll (i.e reporting withholding amounts). A BAS Agent is able to represent your business to the Tax Office on these dealings.
The advantages of using a BAS Agent.
· Qualified: In order to register as a BAS Agent, you must have minimum qualifications & experience – these include a minimum of Certificate IV in Bookkeeping and 1400 Hours experience plus a professional membership.
· Ongoing training & study: To remain registered BAS Agents must complete a minimum of 45 Hours every three years of professional development which entails learning updates to the GST and tax laws, industry changes and so on.
· Professional: BAS Agents are regulated by a Code of Professional Conduct to remain registered. This requires the BAS Agent to be professional and act with honesty & integrity, competence, independence, confidential.
· Liability: BAS Agents are required to hold professional indemnity insurance, and a BAS Agent is covered under ‘safe harbour’ provisions (Taxation Administration Act 1953) whereby taxpayers using a BAS Agent may not be liable to some administrative penalties i.e failing to lodge a document on time & making a false or misleading statement resulting in a shortfall of tax. Businesses that do their BAS themselves or do not use a BAS Agent can easily make mistakes resulting in penalties, using a registered BAS Agent can help avoid these mistakes & penalties.
· BAS Agent Lodgment Program: The BAS Agent Lodgement program allows BAS Agent clients to have lodgement and payment concessions regarding your BAS, IAS & PAYG Withholding. For BAS Agent Lodgment Dates See: https://www.ato.gov.au/Tax-professionals/Prepare-and-lodge/BAS-agent-lodgment-program/
· Cost: While BAS Agents may charge a higher fee for their services than a standard bookkeeper, they often also charge less than Tax Agents for the same services related to
WHAT IS A “BAS PROVISION”?
Defined in the Income Tax Assessment Act 1997, BAS provision includes:
· GST law
· wine equalisation tax law
· luxury car tax law
· fuel tax law
· fringe benefits tax law (relating to collection and recovery only)
· pay as you go (PAYG) withholding
· PAYG instalments.
For examples of BAS Services see: https://www.tpb.gov.au/bas-services
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