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The ATO has published a Decision Impact Statement relating to the decision of the Supreme Court of Western Australia (in Chambers) in Legal Practice Board v Computer Accounting and Tax Pty Ltd [2007] WASC 184

The case concerned the Legal Practice Act 2003 (WA), which prohibits persons other than certificated practitioners from engaging in legal practice, including preparation of deeds and other legal documents. The Respondent defendant was a company that prepared a superannuation trust deed for a fee. Simmons J dismissed an application for contempt by the WA Legal Practice Board, finding that the Respondent company engaged in legal practice which would have been in breach of the Act except that s 123, under which the proceedings were brought, was not applicable to corporations.

 In her evidence, a director of the Respondent company said she relied on advice from an officer of the superannuation section of the ATO that accountants could provide deeds to individual trustees in order to set up self managed superannuation funds on the basis of s 251L of ITAA 1936 . She also referred to page 31 of a book entitled "Self Managed Superannuation Funds DIY super", fact sheet No 2059 and a booklet entitled "Role and responsibilities of trustees" published by the ATO. Her evidence was accepted by the Court.

The Decision Impact Statement states, in relation to this issue:

"The ATO has undertaken a review of its current website and other guidance products covering superannuation matters and can confirm that none contain advice of the nature referred to in this decision. The main document referred to in the decision (NAT 2059) was removed during a regular review earlier this year.

Taxpayers who become aware of any inaccuracies in superannuation products or advice provided by the ATO are invited to contact the ATO in relation to that issue.

For a copy of the Decision Impact Statement, go here

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