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Government urged to address lingering issues with advice reforms

CPA Australia says the legislative reforms under the Better Advice Bill do not meet the intent of Recommendation 7.1 of the Tax Practitioners Board Review and should be included in the Quality of Advice Review.

Earlier this month, Treasury released a consultation on the remake of the sunsetting Tax Agent Services Regulations 2009 in response to amendments arising from the Better Advice Regulations.

In a submission to the consultation, CPA Australia stated that while the removal of the requirement for financial advisers to register with the TPB for the provision of tax (financial) advice reduces the duplication of requirements for financial advisers under the Tax Agent Services Act 2009 (TASA) and the Corporations Act 2001, it also adds additional complexity.

CPA Australia referred back to its submission on the exposure draft regulations for the Better Advice Bill, when it highlighted that the amendments contained within the Better Advice Bill would result in a substantial cohort of financial advisers still being required to be registered under the Tax Practitioners Board (TPB) to provide tax (financial) advice.

CPA stated in its earlier submission that the pathways and transitional provisions proposed in the exposure draft regulations to address the unintended consequences resulting from the Better Advice Bill would add great complexity.

The professional body stated that the legislative reforms under the Better Advice Bill had created a new subset of registrants with the TPB who will hold conditional registrations related to tax (financial) advice.

“We believe that this does not necessarily meet the intent of Recommendation 7.1 of the TPB Review or the government response,” the submission explained.

Recommendation 7.1 of the TPB called for the development of a new model for regulating tax (financial) advisers that would include a single point of registration, the requirement to abide by only one code of conduct, and disciplinary action involving the provision of tax advice to be decided by experts from the tax profession.

CPA Australia said further legislative amendments were needed to address these issues and that the topic should be included in the Terms of Reference for the Quality of Advice Review.

The submission also noted that there had been limited progress on the recommendations requiring consultation or legislative change that is contained in the TPB Review Final Report and government response.

“We have previously highlighted the need for close engagement with the tax profession during the development of the policy response and request that this work commences in 2022,” the submission said.

 

 

 

Miranda Brownlee

28 January 2022 

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