How to become a BAS Agent in Australia
BAS Agents are registered accounting professionals, specially trained to assist people with the preparation and submission of Business Activity Statements (BAS). They provide advice to business owners regarding their liabilities, entitlements and obligations and make sure that all statements and documentation conforms to government regulations under BAS provision.
Although they may perform many of the duties of a bookkeeper, BAS Agents are also permitted to advise on all areas of Goods and Services Tax (GST), superannuation, Fringe Benefits Tax (FBT), PAYG withholding and any other relevant tax issues. In addition to preparing statements, BAS Agents also liaise directly with the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) with regards to the lodgement of their clients’ Business Activity Statements.
Many BAS Agents also offer additional services, such as processing gross wages, employee termination payments, PAYG summaries and various payroll duties. They may also monitor super guarantee contributions, lodge tax file number declarations and submit annual taxable payment reports to the Australian Taxation Office.
Are you a master of spreadsheets, order and precision? Do you want to take your bookkeeping skills to the next level? Here are the steps you will need to take to become a registered BAS Agent.
Step 1: Complete a Certificate IV.
The minimum educational requirement for registration as a BAS Agent is the successful completion of either the Certificate IV Financial Services (Bookkeeping) or Certificate IV Financial Services (Accounting). You will need to complete specific units within these courses covering GST and BAS taxation principles in order to qualify for BAS registration. The required units are - FNSBKG404A Carry out business activity and instalment activity statement tasks and - FNSBKG405A Establish and maintain a payroll system. These courses are offered by a number of education institutes, so make sure you research each provider to ensure that they are an approved RTO.
Step 2: Gain experience under a registered BAS Agent.
In order to qualify for registration as a BAS Agent, you are required to complete 1,400 hours of relevant work experience under the control and supervision of a Registered BAS or Tax agent within the last 4 years. There are a number of groups that offer BAS Agent supervision programs specifically for this purpose, so look online and see if there are any in your local area. Otherwise, you can find local tax agents or BAS Agents and offer your services in return for supervision. Another option is to join BAS Agent networks and attend events to introduce yourself and find a mentor who is willing to help out.
Step 3: Register with the Tax Practitioners Board
Once you have your training and experience you are eligible to apply for registration with the Tax Practitioners Board (TPB). This is a legal requirement for all practising BAS Agents so make sure you have fulfilled all the requirements and gained registration before you offer your services independently. The Tax Practitioners Board requires you to supply a completed Statement of Relevant Experience - BAS Agent as proof that you have gained the requisite experience. This form must be filled out by the supervising BAS Agent, so it is recommended that you download the form and ask them to complete it at the end of your period of supervision.
Step 4: Get your insurance.
All registered BAS Agents are subject to a code of conduct, as outlined by the Taxation Practitioners Board. This code of conduct enforces a set of obligations, including the requirement that practising BAS Agents maintain a suitable level of Professional Indemnity (PI) Insurance. This insurance is a protection mechanism to compensate clients for any losses incurred due to negligence, errors or omissions by the BAS Agent. The level of insurance required is determined by the turnover of your business as a BAS Agent, so it is recommended that you carry out thorough research to ensure you obtain the correct cover.
What does a BAS Agent do?
BAS Agents are trained and qualified to prepare and lodge Business Activity Statements (BAS) on behalf of their clients. They advise business owners of their obligations, entitlements and obligations in regards to the provision of BAS under government legislation. BAS Agents are authorised to provide advice relating to all aspects of GST, PAYG withholding, superannuation, Fringe Benefits Tax and other applicable taxation payments.
Additionally, many BAS Agents also provide services including monitoring superannuation contributions, lodging taxable payment reports to the ATO and various payroll tasks, such as calculating and processing wages, payment summaries and employee termination payments. A BAS Agent will deal directly with government bodies such as the ATO and the Australian Business Number registrar on behalf of their clients.
- Generating financial reports for tax purposes.
- Preparing and lodging Business Activity Statements (BAS).
- Registering businesses for PAYG, GST and other services.
- Advising clients regarding compliance with GST, Super Guarantee, Fringe Benefits Tax and other legislation.
- Liaising with the Australian Taxation Office on behalf of clients.
- Identifying and addressing financial discrepancies.
Skills for Success
A BAS Agent needs to be organised, methodical and efficient, with a great eye for detail. They need solid problem-solving skills, an affinity for mathematics and an ordered, analytical mind. BAS Agents use spreadsheets and accounting software, so they need to be proficient with computer use and technologically savvy. Possessing patience and diligence, good BAS Agents are dedicated to precision, accuracy and organisation.
Skills & Attributes
- Methodical and ordered work habits.
- Technical proficiency.
- Good problem-solving skills.
- Affinity for numbers and mathematics.
- Strong attention to detail.
- Great organisational skills.
- Patience and dedication.
- Passion for logic and efficiency.
What is the salary of a BAS Agent in Australia? In Australia, the average salary of a BAS Agent is around $56,136 per year. This varies depending on a number of factors and is intended as a reference only, from Payscale 03/18