Extension of BAS agents’ remit proposed

A draft legislative instrument proposes to expand the scope of services that can be legally provided by BAS agents. This is on top of a recent changes that allowed BAS agents to help clients with super guarantee amnesty transactions and to provide certain services in relation to the government’s COVID-19 stimulus measures.

Extra services is this case mostly relate to superannuation guarantee charge issues that at present are not covered by the existing relevant legislation. While at present BAS agents can provide services to advise on and prepare an SGC statement, anything further required by a client must be performed by a registered tax agent.

The Tax Practitioners Board has opened for consultation the widening of BAS agent services provisions, made through a draft instrument Tax Agent Services (Specific BAS Services No 2) Instrument 2020. The TPB says it is looking for some clarity around the scope of SGC services that BAS agents are lawfully able to provide. Changes will take effect on the day the instrument is registered.

The proposed changes will allow BAS agents to provide the following services (which they would otherwise be unable to lawfully provide without also being a registered tax agent):

  • advising about an SGC liability, including the calculation of the SGC and preparing the SGC statement
  • advising about the offsetting of late payments of super contributions against the SGC, including completing the late payment offset election section of the SGC statement; representing a client in their dealings with the ATO, including the lodgment of SGC statements; being an authorised contact in relation to super guarantee and SGC accounts; and accessing the super guarantee and SGC accounts in Online services for BAS agents, and
  • being an authorised contact for payment arrangements, requesting penalty remissions and for any audit or review activity undertaken by the ATO relating to SGC accounts.

Refer to the draft Explanatory Statement for further information. The closing date for submissions is 13 July 2020, and written submissions can be made via email at tpbsubmissions@tpb.gov.au

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