When changing your practice structure, don’t forget the regulator

The Tax Practitioners Board (TPB) has issued information for tax agents that change practice structures. In most cases, the TPB will require notification of these changes within 30 days.

Note however that there may also be a need to apply for registration for the new business structure, which includes getting a new registration number to operate under. Changes to the make-up of a partnership or of company directors will require letting the TPB know within 30 days.

Importantly, the TPB reminds practitioners that the ATO will also need to be notified.  For guidance on restructuring your practice, and on retiring or selling, see this ATO information.

Individual to a company or partnership
If you are changing from an individual to a company or partnership structure, you will need to lodge an application with the TPB to register the new company or partnership (a company entity must first be registered with ASIC).

Companies or partnerships registering as tax agents must have a sufficient number of registered individual tax agents to provide tax agent services to a competent standard and to carry out supervisory arrangements. This should be considered seriously, as it may end up being appropriate for you to maintain your individual registration for this purpose.

For more information about company or partnership registration requirements, refer to the TPB’s guidance.

Changes to company or partnership registration
You are required to notify the TPB in writing within 30 days of the day you become, or ought to become, aware of certain events occurring in relation to a registered company or partnership. This includes when:

  • a new director or partner (individual or company) joins
  • an existing director or partner (individual or company) leaves
  • the company or partnership ceases to meet one of the registration requirements
  • an event affecting the continued registration of the company or partnership occurs in respect of a director of the company, or an individual partner or a director of a company partner.

To advise the TPB of changes, it generally requests that notification is made via the relevant section/s in its online form.

If any new director/s or individual partner/s have joined your practice, but are not currently registered with the TPB, you will need to complete and upload the TPB’s “schedule of personal details” to the form.

Trust structures
If you decide to operate or cease operating through a trust structure, you need to notify the TPB in writing. In some circumstances, you may need to apply for a new registration.

For information, refer to its information sheet Agents conducting business in the capacity of trustee of a trust: registration considerations TPB(I) 03/2011.

If you are unsure of registration requirements of trust structures, it may be best to contact the TPB directly.

Your clients
Once the TPB approves your application for registration of a new structure, you should transfer your clients to the new structure.

If you are an Australian financial services (AFS) licensee, you also need to notify the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) of changes to your business structure.

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