This week has seen the Taxation Institute continue to lead the debate on the issue of financial planners being subject to the Tax Agent Services Regime. A Taxation Institute opinion piece was published in The Age, Sydney Morning Herald, WA Today and Brisbane Times on Wednesday, 30 June 2010: "Financial planners should face the same tough scrutiny as tax professionals".
In line with the legislation's intention, anyone giving tax advice should follow consistent requirements in education, service levels and ethics to maximise consumer protection in this often difficult area. People receiving and relying on tax advice from anyone - be it their tax professional or a financial planner - should expect that the adviser not only meets the new regime requirements but that they as a client are covered by the protective measures that it offers. Some financial planners are registered as tax advisers under the Tax Agent Services Regime or work in multidisciplinary practices with other professionals who are right across the detail of taxation policy. Groups like these are usually well-organised to get things right. Financial planners working outside that structure owe it to themselves, their profession and most importantly to their clients to refer taxation matters to a tax professional who can properly advise.
This opinion article reinforces the public debate and coincides with our discussions with Government on the form of regulatory supervision of financial planners in respect of the tax advice that they provide, following the Government's 12 month exemption of planners from the Regime.
If you would like to discuss any of the above in more detail, please feel free to contact me via: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please see below for details of other activities this week.
Robert Jeremenko FTIA