APES 220 Taxation Services

Content Summary


APES 220 Taxation Services sets out mandatory requirements and guidance for members who provide taxation services.

Scope and application

APES 220 took effect on 1 July 2008 and was revised in March 2011, October 2015 and July 2018.

The revised standard, which is effective from 1 October 2018, requires members in Australia to adhere to its mandatory requirements when they provide a taxation service. For members outside of Australia, the scope of the Standard must be followed as long as local laws and regulations are not contravened.

Fundamental responsibilities of members

APES 220 requires members to observe and comply with their public interest obligations when they provide taxation services. The Standard also reminds members of their professional obligations established in accordance with APES 110 Code of Ethics for Professional Accountants (the Code) in respect of:

  • Section 120: Objectivity
  • Section 130: Professional Competence and Due Care
  • Section 140: Confidentiality

Consistent with the fundamental principles of integrity and professional behaviour, APES 220 mandates that members providing taxation services must ensure that their personal tax obligations and those of the member's associated entities are properly discharged.

Preparation and lodgment of returns to revenue authorities

APES 220 stipulates that a member must prepare and lodge returns and other relevant documentation with a revenue authority in accordance with the information provided by a client or employer, their instructions and applicable taxation law.

Tax schemes and arrangements

APES 220 requires a member, where appropriate and having regard to the member's scope of work, to provide a client or employer with sufficient information to enable them to be fully informed of the details of any proposed tax scheme or arrangement and its current and future ramifications. Members must not knowingly or recklessly be associated with documents or accounting entries that misrepresent transactions. Members must also not promote tax schemes and arrangements in circumstances where it is not reasonably arguable that the applicable tax benefit is available under Taxation Law.


The use of estimates is prohibited by APES 220 unless their use is reasonable, and it is generally accepted or where exact data cannot be obtained. Where estimates are not reasonable, the member must advise the client or employer of the risks and consequences of using estimates.

False or misleading information

In accordance with APES 220, members must not provide a taxation service to a client or employer if it is based on false or materially misleading information. Further, a member must not knowingly or recklessly make a statement or cause others to make a statement that is false or misleading by its content or omission in a material manner.

Professional engagement matters

Terms of engagement must be documented and communicated by members in public practice according to APES 305 Terms of Engagement. Members in public practice must also comply with Section 210 Professional Appointments of the Code.

Refer to the standard for information concerning:

  • definitions
  • objectivity
  • confidentiality
  • professional competence and due care
  • preparation and lodgment of returns to revenue authorities
  • tax schemes and arrangements
  • estimates
  • false and misleading information
  • professional engagement matters
  • client monies
  • professional fees
  • documentation.