A tax agent in Australia provides services to his clients regarding liabilities and entitlements under taxation laws. He advises clients or represents them in dealing with the Commissioner of Taxation. He also prepares tax documents and lodges them for assessment, determination, notice or decision. Every person who wants to provide tax agent services for a fee in Australia has to apply to the Tax Practitioners Board. People who provide such services for their employer for a wage or salary don't have to register.
Download the Exposure Draft from the TPB website (see Resources) and check against the listed criteria to determine whether you meet the fit and proper person requirements. You have to be of good fame, integrity and character. In the previous five years, you must not have been convicted of serious taxation offense or fraud, been penalized for promoting a tax exploitation scheme, or been imprisoned. During the previous five years, you also must not have had the status of an undischarged bankrupt.
Download the Tax Agent Services Regulations 2009 from the website of Attorney-General's Department (see Resources). Read Schedule 2, Part 2 of the regulations and check that you meet all the qualifications and experience requirements. You have to have at least one of the following: tertiary qualifications in accountancy, tertiary qualifications in another discipline relevant to tax agent services, diploma or higher award, tertiary qualifications in law, work experience, or membership in a professional association. Depending on your level of education, you have to have a minimum of between 12 months and eight years of full-time relevant experience.
Download the form "statement of relevant experience for tax agent registration" from the "Standard Application" page on the TPB website (see Resources).
Fill the "statement of relevant experience for tax agent registration" form with your personal details and details of your relevant experience, including the types of relevant service you have provided, the period of time during which you provided the service and the number of tax returns or statements that you prepared during the last five years.
Get a licensed supervising tax agent to complete the "statement of relevant experience for tax agent registration" form. He will need to attest to your statements by signing the form.
Go the the TPB website and use the online registration form to lodge your application. The interactive form will navigate you through the process. You will need to upload supporting documents, including the completed "statement of relevant experience for tax agent registration" form. You also have to pay an application fee, which amounts to $500 for an agent who carries on a business or $250 for an agent who does not. You can pay by BPAY or credit card, and the fee covers the whole period of three years during which you will be registered.