The Tax Practitioners Board (TPB) has released final guidelines for financial advisers on key issues of PI insurance and education requirements under the TASA regime.
Included in the guidelines will be pertinent information for financial advisers including: what is a tax (financial) advice service, professional indemnity (PI) insurance requirements, and continuing professional education (CPE) for tax (financial) advisers.
The TPB has reiterated that the key guidance policies are intended to assist registered tax financial advisers to further understand their obligations under the Tax Agent Services Act 2009.
From 1 July 2014, AFS licensees and authorised representatives who register as tax (financial) advisers are required to maintain PI insurance and complete continuing professional education that meets the TPB’s requirements, as stipulated in the previous government’s amendments to the Tax Agent Services Act.
Dante De Gori, Financial Planning Association of Australia general manager, policy and conduct said that “in practice any individual who is authorised or licensed to provide personal financial product advice is likely to be captured by the new regime and TPB registration requirement.”
De Gori added that, “from July 1, financial advisers who come under the regime may use a relevant disclaimer when they provide tax (financial) advice services for a fee or other reward within statements of advice – though this disclosure option is only available until December 2015, after which point full TPB registration will be expected, according to TPB documents.”
The TPB has also ruled in favour of making it mandatory for registered advisers to complete a minimum of 60 hours of continuing professional education (CPD) over three years”, including no less than seven hours in any given year.
Earlier this year, the TPB released their Exposure Draft Explanatory Paper inviting comments and submissions in relation to their proposed continuing professional education policy requirements for registered tax financial advisers. The paper was met with disapproval from various industry groups including the Association of Financial Advisers whose COO Phil
Anderson claimed that the, “20 hours a year requirement was a lot; “particularly for advisers for whom tax advice is an insignificant part of what they do.” He added that, ”whilst we support increasing the levels of education and training on taxation matters, we are concerned that one standard is being set for all, including those who provide a very limited level of taxation advice.”
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