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Consumer protection at stake as Parliament considers Bill

Publication date: 04 Jun 13 | Source: THE TAX INSTITUTE

Tuesday 4 June 2013: Federal Parliament must pass important consumer protection measures for people receiving tax advice from their financial adviser, The Tax Institute said today.

“Today the House of Representatives is debating important legislation that will ensure that long sought after consumer protection measures are applied to anyone giving tax advice, including financial advisers”, Tax Institute President, Steve Westaway, said.

The amendments contained in Tax Laws Amendment (2013 Measures No. 2) Bill 2013 are due to take effect on 1 July 2013, with this Parliament not sitting again after the end of June 2013.

“After extensive consultation dating back to 2010, it is crucial that this Bill is now passed by Parliament before the end of June,” Mr Westaway said.

“The Bill ensures that financial advisers meet appropriate professional and ethical standards. It also lays the foundation to ensure that financial advisers have educational qualifications and experience to be able to advise people about their investments and tax consequences."

“It will allow the Tax Practitioners Board to apply the existing strong regulatory framework to the provision of tax advice by financial advisers.

There has been substantial consultation on these measures (on multiple occasions) between interested stakeholders, including the Financial Planning Association, The Tax Institute and Treasury.

This consultation commenced in 2010 and has included the design of the policy and also the content of the amendments contained in Schedule 3 to the Bill.

“In addition, although the start date of these amendments is 1 July 2013, there is a generous three-year transition period before the full regulatory framework applies to financial advisers,” Mr Westaway said.

“People receiving tax advice from a financial adviser must be afforded the same level of protection offered in respect of tax advice received from a tax agent.

“This Bill is integral to achieving this level of consumer protection.”

ENDS

Contacts:

  • Robert Jeremenko, Senior Tax Counsel, 0468 987 300