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26 Jun 14 Registration requirements for tax (financial) advisers

The Commonwealth Treasury has released an exposure draft of regulations to amend the Tax Agent Services Regulations 2009 which prescribe a tailored set of ongoing registration requirements for tax (financial) advisers, as well as a number of other related amendments. At the same time the government has taken this opportunity to amend the experience requirements for BAS agents, and make other minor corrections and clarifications to the Tax Agent Services Regulations 2009.

The exposure draft is entitled Tax Agent Services Amendment (Tax (Financial) Advisers) Regulation 2014. The full text of the exposure draft and its explanatory statement are available from the Treasury website, here.

Submissions are invited on the exposure draft. The closing date for submissions is Wednesday, 9 July 2014.

The Tax Agent Services Amendment (Tax (Financial) Advisers) Regulation 2014 gives effect to the Tax Laws Amendment (2013 Measures No 3) Act 2013, and brings financial planners within the regime administered by the Tax Practitioners Board. The regulations do this by prescribing registration requirements for tax (financial) advisers, and also set out a number of other changes, which are designed to give effect to the regime and bring tax (financial) advisers in line with other entities regulated by the Board.

These regulations allow financial planners who provide tax (financial) advice services to register with the Board with different qualification and experience requirements to tax agents. This recognises that tax (financial) advisers provide a subset of the services that tax agents can provide. For example, tax (financial) advisers may not make representations to the Commissioner. The qualification and experience requirements are tailored to reflect the different nature of the service offered, when compared to the service offered by tax agents.

In order to fully bring tax (financial) advisers within the regime administered by the Board, a number of other amendments are made in the regulations. These include allowing the Board to recognise tax (financial) adviser associations, and requiring the listing of tax (financial) advisers on the Board’s register of registered and deregistered tax practitioners.

In addition, the amendments clarify that services which are required under a law of the Commonwealth, a State or Territory to be provided by an actuary, are not a tax agent service. Similarly, services provided by a trustee to members of a trust or a managed investment scheme are not tax agent services.

The amendments also alter the experience requirements for BAS agents to better account for career disruptions due to extenuating circumstances.

 

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