Use A BAS Agent And Stress Less

  • Unless you're an expert, you're probably going to pay more than you need to.
  • Fines for unregistered accountants who advertise or provide BAS services have been increased.
  • Your agent is bound by a strict code of conduct and their registration will be terminated if there is any misconduct.

BAS Agent “Doing the BAS” (Business Activity Statement) is one of the real lows of corporate ownership for many people. Corporate activity statements are complicated and time consuming to prepare, getting you away from more important business tasks – or in your personal time! Unless you’re an expert, you’re probably going to pay more than you need to. Worse, you could screw up and under-pay your taxes. The Australian tax authorities do not take false returns lightly and you may be liable to pay fines in addition to outstanding taxes.

In the past, many people chose to hire an accountant to do their BAS. Of course it fits with the other services that bookkeepers provide and they were cheaper than a tax agent. The problem was that it wasn’t technically legal. There were rules, but they were not enforced effectively. An untrained, uneducated person was able to purchase an accounting software package and declare that he was a bookkeeper and provides BAS services.

Sydney, capital of New South Wales and one of Australia’s largest cities, is best known for its harbourfront Sydney Opera House, with a distinctive sail-like design. Massive Darling Harbour and the smaller Circular Quay port are hubs of waterside life, with the arched Harbour Bridge and esteemed Royal Botanic Garden nearby.

That all changed in 2009, when “registered BAS agents” were introduced as part of reforms to the Tax Agent Services Act 2009. It created a clear set of training, experience and professional standards that an accountant must achieve in order to provide BAS Agent services.

Fines for unregistered accountants who advertise or provide BAS services have been increased. Several recent prosecutions, accompanied by hefty fines, indicate that the enforcement of these rules is much stricter. The net result? You, the customer, can be much more confident that you are getting the quality work you need.

By hiring a BAS agent, you can be sure of a number of things:

  • Your agent has completed a relevant, recognized accounting and / or accounting course (such as the Certificate IV in Accounting).
  • Your agent is bound by a strict code of conduct and their registration will be terminated if there is any misconduct.
  • Your agent is undergoing continuous professional development.
  • Your agent has professional indemnity insurance that protects you financially if the agent makes a mistake, omits or takes another action.
  • Your agent has acquired more than 1,000 hours of relevant work experience in the three years prior to registration.

Ultimately, this means that your agent has the skills, experience and knowledge to produce your BAS documents accurately, correctly and on time. They also have very strong incentives to act professionally and in your best interest!

You can help your BAS agent in a number of ways. First, you can provide them with complete and accurate data to work with, as it is impossible to produce correct documents without good information. Second, give them time to go through your records, prepare and submit the statements. If you need help with your BAS, get in touch and have your financial documents ready to use weeks in advance.

Unsurprisingly, many companies simply hire a BAS agent to set up and maintain their financial record keeping and reporting systems. That way, when it comes to the time of the BAS stay, the agent has correctly recorded and prepared all the information he needs. Your BAS is prepared accurately and on time, so that you get the most out of it and avoid fines or fines. As a bonus, BAS agents have a longer period to file BAS. This gives you more time to get your paperwork in order and manage cash flow to make any required payments.

You need a tax agent to complete your income tax return.

Can a BAS agent file my income tax return?

No definitely not! BAS agent registration extends to BAS services. You need a tax agent to complete your income tax return. Tax consultants have higher training and experience requirements and can prepare virtually all types of tax returns, including BAS. They also charge higher rates and do not typically provide the day-to-day accounting services that a BAS certified bookkeeper would, and thus are a less popular choice for BAS services than BAS agents.

Using an unregistered agent will lose all legal and financial protections associated with a registered agent. Plus, how do you know if that person has the skills and experience to get the best results for you?

At the end of the day

There are registered BAS agents to fulfill your BAS reporting needs. Hire a BAS agent and implement the systems they need to maintain accurate financial records. You can continue to run your business confident that your BAS reports are accurate, submitted on time, and deliver the best results for you.

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