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08 Apr 11 Preamble - Friday 8 April 2011

This week The Tax Institute met with the Assistant Treasurer, the Hon Bill Shorten MP, Treasury, ASIC, the Tax Practitioners Board and other relevant stakeholders from the accounting and financial planning industries.  We spoke about the next steps in the consultation process to ensure consumers are protected when they receive tax advice from financial planners.

We are optimistic about the progress of the development of an appropriate regulatory model. There is much more work to be done on the details, but we are pleased with the broad direction in which we are all moving.  The sometimes disparate voices of the relevant stakeholders have all coalesced around the need for strong consumer protection.

As members would be aware, 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.  

The Tax Institute will be a strong voice for members in further consultation with the Government in progressing further details of the model.

Please click here for the Assistant Treasurer’s press release and for a copy of The Tax Institute’s press release, please click here.

Please see below for details of other activities this week.

Kind regards
Robert Jeremenko FTIA

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