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Safe harbour for misleading statement penalties

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Use a registered agent in a safe harbour

Safe Harbour for registered agentsIf you or your BAS agent take care in making a tax return or statement you will not incur a penalty if you have understated your tax liability or overstated your entitlements. This is part of the safe harbour definition by the Australian Tax Office and it highlights a significant change in the legal framework for completing  BAS returns.

The safe harbour only applies to statements made on or after 1st March 2010 and  it  affects who is responsible for tax information lodged with the ATO.

It’s a question of who is responsible for tax information lodged with the ATO, you or your bookkeeper/BAS agent?

Below is a quote from the ATO’s website that puts it in their words:

[quote]For statements made by a tax agent up to and including 28 February 2010, you are liable for any administrative penalty for the making of the false or misleading statement. It is not relevant if you made the mistake, your registered agent or a mix of both.[/quote]

Read more about safe harbours at the ATO website and see a simple example case study.

Safe Harbours around the world

Wikipedia has a definition of a Safe Harbour as it applies in a legal concept.

[quote]Legislators may include safe-harbor provisions to protect legitimate or excusable violations, or to incentivize the adoption of desirable practices.[/quote]

Does it apply to you?

Safe Harbours apply to you if:

  1. You want to be a bookkeeper and lodge BAS’s for your customers and/or
  2. You are a business that uses a bookkeeper.

Legislation came into place on 1st July 2011 whereby BAS agents must have professional indemnity (PI) insurance to protect their clients in case of negligence.

If you are contemplating our MYOB Training Courses to start a career as an MYOB bookkeeper speak to us about the qualifications required to gain admission to the Tax Practitioners Board.

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