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30 Apr 1010 Preamble - Friday, 30 April 2010

Last Friday’s specially convened ATO meeting to discuss Change Program issues and the ATO's progress in fixing them was another opportunity for us to directly convey to the ATO leadership the problems facing members (please see below for further discussion).

On the issue of financial planners and the Tax Agent Services Regime, despite our strong advocacy against changes to the Regime that will erode consumer protection, Friday saw the Government announce that it will exempt financial planners from the Tax Agent Services Regime for a period of 12 months. In a media release issued the same day, we publicly expressed our disappointment at the Government's announcement that amounted to a step backwards for consumer protection. Where does this leave consumers for the next 12 months? We will be formally responding to the Government's announcement and actively participating in the industry consultation phase, which will determine which of two permanent options should be applied to financial planners (please see below for further discussion).

The Government also announced Sunday 2 May 2010 as the release date for the report of the Henry tax review and the Government's initial response. On Sunday, the Institute will be participating in the 'lock-up' briefing on the report in Canberra and afterwards, in conjunction with CCH, we will provide members with an overview of the key points in a special edition of TAXVINE.

Kind regards
Robert Jeremenko FTIA

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