BAS AGENT COURSE
I recently completed a BAS agent course which is compulsory for all BAS agents at some stage. I am glad I did it however the cost and time involved is an inconvenience. The other thing was the homework involved. I thought it would be easy for me to complete the course as I have been preparing Business Activity statements for 13 years and supporting staff in their preparation. What I didn’t anticipate was the time involved to complete the assignments out of hours. A word of warning to those yet to complete the course to keep your social calendar free so you can complete homework and study for the tests. It was a condensed 3 day course including the tests for participants with prior knowledge therefore the homework is condensed into two weeks.
There are a few specialist areas which you need to have full knowledge of such as calculating and back calculating luxury car tax, fuel tax credits and some FBT calculations for the BAS. The standard BAS and PAYG preparation part of the course is easy to complete if you are experienced with preparing returns.
The payroll component of the course is hands on. My course used MYOB. I was lucky in that I have used MYOB payroll on and off for many years however it was challenging for those who had not used MYOB or even have their staff complete the payroll functions as I mostly did. There was an experienced Bookkeeper who has been using QuickBooks Payroll and this was tricky to pick up the differences in a short time. So when choosing the course to complete make sure you find out a bit more about it and the requirements. ie some students came to class without a USB stick. I always carry one or two with me as they are necessary tool in today’s computing world.
The PAYG components are straight forward and it’s good practice to refer back to the manual Weekly Tax tables on the ATO website and manually calculate tax adjustments on rebates.
BAS agent requirements
All the requirements for registering as a BAS agent are on the Tax Practioners Website www.tpb.gov.au
Even if you are a qualified accountant you still need to complete the BAS agent course to prove you have the knowledge and can be trusted to act as an agent.
Note you also need to have Professional Indemnity Insurance which cost me approx. $500. My insurance broker also advised I take out Public Liability Insurance which I have.
The cost to apply for BAS agent registration is $100 for most.
Anyway it is a necessary evil for all personnel charging a fee to provide assistance or complete Business Activity statements for a client.
Then the next step is applying to the Tax board which can take months to get back to you so get to it if not already.