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BAS Agent Association Group key messages 15 June 2023

Key messages from the BAS Agent Association Group meeting 15 June 2023.

Last updated 25 July 2023

Key messages from the BAS Agent Association Group meeting 15 June 2023

Welcome and introduction

ATO co-chair Assistant Commissioner Kath Anderson welcomed members, asked if there were any conflicts of interest to be declared (none declared) and reminded the group of confidentiality requirements.

2030 Tax Practitioner Experience Strategy

Protect the high levels of engagement and integrity in the Tax, Super and Registry Systems

Tax Practitioner Board update

Chief Executive Officer and Secretary provided an update on registered agents, including registered BAS agents.

Members discussed

BAS agent associations may consider a joint submission to the Assistant Treasurer regarding BAS Agent Association Group (BASAAG) representation on the Tax Practitioners Board (TPB).

The requirement regarding relevant experience, including the difference between statement of experience and demonstration of skills (education). It was noted that the statement of experience is just one input to the TPB’s assessment of the extent to which a person meets the Tax Agent Services Act 2009 registration requirements.

Safeguard the security of the Tax, Superannuation and Registry data and systems

Spotlight on Cyber Security

Fraud and identity theft is not just a tax problem, it is a significant problem facing individuals and businesses generally. The environment is changing constantly, and as larger institutions harden their controls, others (including agents and taxpayers) are likely to become targets.

ATO is working with the profession to increase the level of controls that practices have in place to reduce the incidence of fraud. This is an ongoing focus area.

Improve tax performance for clients of tax practitioners


ATO provided an update on the progress of delivering the new website, including an overview of timelines, and information about the website look and design.

  • The current website sits on an aging platform, which is approaching end of service life. The ATO has procured a new website platform and we are progressing towards delivery of a new website in early December 2023.
  • Extensive validation will be undertaken to make sure the new website is performing as expected before we launch. This will include a period of 4 weeks (our public beta) where the community will have the opportunity to explore the new site.
  • Public beta is scheduled for November 2023.
  • The ATO continue to engage with this group and communicate to intermediaries as we progress towards delivery of the new website.
Members discussed

The importance of education, communication and change management.

Fringe Benefits Tax

ATO sought input from agents about their observations of FBT compliance:

  • Is there anything further that the ATO can do to help BASAAG members consider or identify FBT in their client base?
  • Subscribe to the quarterly FBT Bulletin (sign up on, How does fringe benefits tax work on
Members discussed

Members provided insights but noted that they cannot provide FBT advice.

Increase trust and confidence in the Tax, Super and Registry systems

Payday Super

The ATO provided an overview of the payday super 2023-24 Budget measure which will require super to be paid at the same time as salary and wages from 1 July 2026.

Treasury will be leading the policy consultation. The ATO will have responsibility for consultation and co-design of administrative design options.

We understand that there are several administration processes involved in the payment of wages and superannuation. We are seeking to understand these processes, how the various stakeholders interact with the system and how various administrative design options might impact these processes and interactions.

Initially the ATO will be seeking early insights from industry about the impact of the proposed policy. These insights will inform the development of more targeted consultation and co-design which will be occurring over the coming months.

Members discussed
  • Current super clearing house irritants, including the inability to have multiple super pay events uploading at the same time.
  • The impacts of BAS agents not having access to superannuation information in Online services for agents.
  • The BASAAG is a key group to be involved in co-design of this measure, nothing the distinct role BAS Agents play in the system.

Action item


Due date

July 2023



Action item details

Members to provide details of current issues associated with Super Clearing House to Kerrie Jarius who will collate and send through to the secretariat

Confidentiality discussion

The ATO discussed various scenarios that relate to dissemination of information shared during BASAAG meetings and members provided feedback.

Environmental scan

Input was sought from members including member experiences, trends and items impacting the profession. Items discussed included:

  • Online Service for Agents – PDF signature option for clients
  • payment plans and deferral options
  • Single Touch Payroll (STP) related matters including:
    • improving helpline for STP and debt phone calls
    • STP finalisation statement deferral
    • late lodgment letter system
    • reporting at STP label W1 – are the amounts before or after salary sacrifice
  • assisting to increase community awareness around the support that small business restructure specialist experts can provide small businesses.
  • super – improving Online Services for Business and RAM.

Empower and support tax practitioners to add value to their clients through sustainable operations

The future of BAS Agents

The ATO led an environmental scan to identify changes coming up over the next few years that will impact BAS agents.

The feedback from members will help the ATO to understand other external influences impacting the profession. It will also help inform future conversations about the profession and how we can work together to support agents through the changes.

Improve small business performance and the level playing field

Improving small business tax performance

The ATO provided an update on improving small business performance initiative, noting:

  • The ATO will be testing the hypothesis that more frequent GST payments will assist small business operators improve their tax performance. We are looking to partner with some emerging FinTechs to conduct live pilots.
  • One of the pilots will support a group of small businesses to opt-in to a monthly GST lodgment cycle to test the hypothesis that a monthly reporting cycle will assist some small business industries with:
    • smaller, more manageable payments
    • more frequent access to potential GST credit entitlements
    • more manageable data and reporting
    • greater visibility of their taxation position.
  • We are exploring guidance prompts with digital service providers and FinTechs to embed checks that create confidence and certainty in data flows from the small business to the ATO.
Members discussed:
  • Monthly GST payment and reporting may prove challenging as it will increase the workload for BAS agents and pose cash flow issues.
  • Whether there could be an option of paying IAS monthly and GST quarterly.
  • There would be benefit and industry interest in running a pilot for PAYG monthly payments. Payroll cycles are already reconciled each month.
  • We need to work through the sequencing of any changes made following the pilots – PAYG should come before GST.

Action item


Due date

July 2023



Action item details

Secretariat will send out request for members to nominate to be involved with the pilot(s) and to assist identifying suitable clients for a 1 October start

Lodge and Pay update

The ATO summarised the current ATO debt book and recovery approach, including:

  • Current debt levels, noting that 90% of obligations are paid on time (70% for small businesses), 65% of collectible debt relates to small businesses, approximately 50% of the debt is over 12 months old and approximately 30% of the debt is over two years old.
  • ATO’s general debt recovery approach.
  • The ATO’s approach to insolvency, noting that having a tax debt is usually a symptom of insolvency rather than a cause and that for the majority of insolvency actions, the ATO is a creditor and not the initiator of the action.
  • Improving the Intermediary Experience (IIE) program.
  • Small business lodgment amnesty.
  • Disclosure of business tax debts.
  • Credit Offsetting to Debts on Hold – expecting approximately 70,000 clients might be impacted via an offset to a debt on hold.
Members discussed:
  • Members queried whether other lodgments (outside the specified timeframes) can also be given penalty relief under the amnesty if an agent is bringing all lodgments up to date ATO advised – these will be dealt with on a case-by-case basis.
  • Is this an indication that from the end of the amnesty, the ATO will apply firmer approaches? The ATO noted that at the end of the amnesty existing business as usual approaches will apply.
  • The challenges associated with refunds applied to a debt that is already in a payment plan, which can result in a current debt defaulting.
  • The need to continue to remind agents that credits will be offset to debts on hold.

Action item


Due date

October 2023



Action item details

Investigate member suggestion that when the ATO leaves a voicemail message with the 1300 number, can we also provide the relevant Fast Key Code