Practitioners will now be allowed to count educative health and wellbeing activities, such as attending webinars about how to manage stress and self-care, as being a relevant CPE activity.
The TPB said the temporary move was in response to physical and mental health concerns faced by the profession in the COVID-19 crisis.
“We acknowledge that during this difficult time, it is important to manage your mental health and wellbeing in order to continue to provide services to your clients,” the TPB said.
“However, the vast majority of your CPE activities must still be relevant to the tax (financial) advice, tax agent or BAS services you provide that maintain, develop or promote your skills, knowledge or attributes.”
The TPB did not specify on a cap on this “small amount” of educative health and wellbeing CPE activities.
The latest move from the regulator comes after it removed the 25 per cent cap for relevant technical or professional reading activity.
The easing of requirements from the TPB until 30 September 2020 comes as it recognises the cancellation of structured events and workshops due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We recognise that tax practitioners are working hard for their clients at this difficult time and understand that you have a lot of competing priorities,” said TPB chief executive Michael O’Neill.
“We understand that your health and safety and that of your family’s is of utmost importance, and this can lead to not being able to meet some of your obligations with us.”
The TPB has also noted that while the 25 per cent professional reading cap has been temporarily lifted, all elements of its CPE requirements still apply.
These include meeting the required number of CPE hours over a three-year registration period, the minimum number of CPE hours required to be undertaken each year, and undertaking activities to the services the practitioner is registered to provide.
Jotham Lian is the editor of Accountants Daily, the leading source of breaking news, analysis and insight for Australian accounting professionals.
Before joining the team in 2017, Jotham wrote for a range of national mastheads including the Sydney Morning Herald, and Channel NewsAsia.