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Consultation to protect consumers of financial planner tax advice moving in the right direction

Publication date: 07 Apr 11 | Source: THE TAX INSTITUTE

The Tax Institute is optimistic about the progress of a consultation process to ensure consumers are protected when they receive tax advice from financial planners.

The Tax Institute’s Senior Tax Counsel, Robert Jeremenko, said the progress of the development of an appropriate regulatory model is satisfactory following another meeting between The Tax Institute, Minister Bill Shorten, Treasury, ASIC, the Tax Practitioners Board and other relevant stakeholders in Melbourne yesterday.

“There is much more work to be done on the details, but The Tax Institute is pleased with the broad direction in which we are all moving,” Mr Jeremenko said.

"The sometimes disparate voices of the relevant stakeholders have all coalesced around the need for strong consumer protection.

"The Tax Institute has long been advocating that people relying on tax advice should be entitled to expect that their adviser meets the high standards set by the Tax Agent Services regime, and that they are also covered by the sorts of protective measures contained within it, such as safe harbour rules.

“Financial planners with a limited registration will be able to provide certain types of tax advice within the context of providing financial advice, but only in line with the scope of their competencies.

“The three-tier system we are moving towards would allow for financial planners to be subject to appropriate levels of regulation, depending on the type of advice provided.

“The Tax Practitioners Board will continue to play a strong role in registration and enforcement of obligations.

“The interests of consumers remain paramount in resolving outstanding issues like education requirements, a uniform code of conduct and transitional arrangements.”