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11 Oct 2019 Regarding Member 265’s comment ‘Noel Whittaker’s comments on the downsizer contribution’

Member 270 writes: 

Reading the comments of Member 265 (TaxVine 38, 4 October) has led me to ponder. 

I believe that our obligation is to act in the best interests of our client. I then wonder whether this obligation is a purely financial one, i.e. what will make the most dollars, or whether it should be a more holistic obligation, such as which course will make our clients feel better about themselves. Are we to impute certain moral standards to our clients, e.g. you shouldn’t feel that you have an “entitlement” to receive an age pension, or do we need to collect data from our clients about their moral compass and psychological state in order to advise as to what course of action would be in their best interests? One thing is clear – we cannot act on the basis of our own moral standards if that is not in the best interests of our client. In those circumstances we must simply decline the engagement. 

An ethical dilemma indeed!

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