Australia – Tax & Audit

UNDERSTANDING AUSTRALIAN TAXATION AND CORPORATION LAW

As part of our efforts to ensure that ACCA members in Australia are in the best position to demonstrate their professional competence and secure employment, we have an arrangement with Deakin University for ACCA members to study appropriate university units in Principles of Income Tax Law (MLC301) and Corporations Law (MLC203) as single subject units.

Members with undergraduate qualifications have the alternative option of studying these units at postgraduate level (MLC703 Principles of Income Tax and MLM731 Corporations Law).

Members who wish to undertake such studies should be aware that they will need to have their prior law studies (undertaken as part of the ACCA qualification) assessed before enrollment. Courses can be completed online using CloudDeakin and iLectures or face-to-face at the Burwood Campus of Deakin University in Melbourne. You should be able to complete both units in one Trimester (over 12 weeks) and will receive a formal results notification from the University.

For initial enquiries please contact:

  • Melbourne Campus at Burwood – phone +61 3 9244 6555
  • Geelong Campus at Waurn Ponds – phone +61 3 5227 1277

Information regarding the online application process for single subject (non-award course) and fees is available on the Deakin University website

Deakin University is a well-respected Australian university, fully accredited by government authorities and the accounting profession in Australia.

Download the Australian Tax and Company Law study information sheet

Top Tip – We strongly encourage all migrating ACCA Members to arrive in ANZ with a good working knowledge of – and ideally a qualification in – Australian and / or New Zealand taxation and corporation law. We have established good relationships with leading Universities to help you achieve this.

ACCA RECOGNITION – TAX & BAS

The Tax Practitioners Board accredited ACCA as a recognised tax agent association and as a recognised BAS agent association on 12 May 2010 in Australia.

The Tax Practitioners Board can accredit professional associations so that the professional qualifications and experience of their members are recognised for registration purposes.

ACCA members who wish to apply for tax agent and/or BAS agent registration should visit the Tax Practitioners Board

The recognition of our body by the Tax Practitioners Board is a significant development for ACCA and its members in Australia. It forms part of a wider effort being undertaken by our team to improve, where viable, the career opportunities of our members.

TAX AGENT SERVICES ACT – AUSTRALIA

The Tax Agents Services legislation affecting tax agents and BAS providers took effect as of 1 March 2010.

The aim of the act is to ensure that services provided to the public by Tax and BAS agents is of an appropriate ethical and professional standard.
A number of changes were instituted that relate to the Tax Agents Services Act 2009.
• The Tax Practitioners Board (TPB) was established
• State-based Tax Agent Boards were abolished
• Registration and regulation of Tax agents and BAS agents
• Introduction of safe harbour provisions

Members who offer Tax or BAS services for a fee now need to be registered with the Tax Practitioners Board (TPB) and fulfil educational, ethical and professional requirements. (Tax requirements, BAS requirements, Tax Agents Services Regulations Act 2009) Members who were registered as a Tax Agent prior to 1 March 2010 were deemed as registered under the new law and must re-register under the new system when their previous license comes up for renewal. (Tax Agent Services (Transitional Provisions and Consequential Amendments) Act 2009)

The Tax Practitioners Board has provided FAQ documents on the new Act:
• for Tax agents
• for BAS agents
We recommend that you check the Tax Practitioners Board website for the latest information.

BAS AGENTS

Under the new law, anyone providing BAS agent services for a fee must be registered.
Safe harbour

Under the safe harbour provisions, taxpayers are not liable to administrative penalties for either failing to lodge on time, or making false or misleading statements under certain circumstances.
The safe harbour provisions can only apply to:

• a false or misleading statement penalty where the statement is made on or after 1 March 2010
• a failure to lodge on time penalty, where the document has a due date for lodgement of 1 March 2010 or later.

AUDIT RECOGNITION

ACCA does not currently hold statutory audit recognition in Australia.

For the vast majority of existing ACCA Members – as well as for the overwhelming majority of migrating Members – this will have little impact. It does impact those ACCA Members wishing to become a Partner or Principal in a public practice firm. The current position is that these Members will need to gain membership of CPA or CAANZ along with the local Certificate of Public Practice in order to sign audited company accounts.

Members can also apply directly to ASIC if they can provide sufficient evidence of education and experience to meet the audit criteria.  This is exactly the same for Members of CA, CPA and IPA – it’s just the local bodies qualification is automatically recognised whilst ACCA’s needs to be approved as an ‘equivalent’ qualification. The precedent is that the ACCA qualification meets the Audit standard (we have a number of Members who have gone down this path) but each individual application must be signed off by one of the local bodies to ‘prove’ that ACCA is an equivalent qualification.

Statutory Audit recognition is granted through the Corporations Act (2001) and for ACCA to be awarded recognition status similar to CPA and CAANZ will require a significant change to this Act. The local ACCA Office has a medium to long term goal to see this change occur, but realistically this will not happen in the short term.

For further information on Statutory Audit Recognition, or if you need to discuss pathways to eligibility for signing company accounts, please contact the local ACCA Office.