30 April 2012: The Federal Government’s decision today to delay the implementation of significantly important consumer protection measures is grossly disappointing, The Tax Institute said today.
The reforms, which would have increased scrutiny of financial planners who provide tax advice by regulating them under the Tax Agent Services regime, were scheduled to commence from 1 July 2012.
“This further delay, which will result in the measures not coming into force until 1 July 2013, leaves a gaping hole in the protections afforded to consumers that receive tax advice from financial planners”, Tax Institute President Ken Schurgott said.
"The Tax Institute has long advocated that consumers relying on tax advice should be able to expect that their tax adviser meets the high standards set by the Tax Agent Services regime.”
“The delay of these important reforms is a major blow to consumers who are entitled to expect to receive a high professional standard of tax advice when receiving it paired with financial planning advice,” Mr Schurgott said.
“Consumers will also miss out on the protective measures contained within the regime, such as safe harbour rules regarding tax advice given by tax advisers, for yet another year.”
Mr Schurgott said the delay was particularly disappointing in light of The Tax Institute’s extensive consultative efforts on this issue over the past years.
“There has been more than enough time to talk through the detail of the proposed regime, a further delay is not necessary.” Mr Schurgott said.
“In these Budget-constrained times, the Government should be focusing on, rather than deferring, such revenue neutral reforms that will nevertheless yield significant benefits for taxpayers.”
For more information contact:
- Robert Jeremenko, Senior Tax Counsel, The Tax Institute: 02 8223 0011, 0468 987 300
- Dylan Malloch, Sefiani Communications Group: 02 8920 0700, 0407 620 613