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TASA Bill referred back to committee, says Coalition

The Tax Agent Services Act amendments have reportedly been referred back to committee review, despite comments from a Labor MP in parliament today that the Bill is urgent and there is no time for an inquiry.

Shadow minister for financial services Senator Mathias Cormann took to social media to announce a decision has been made to review the Bill, despite clear opposition to an inquiry from the government. 

"Victory for common sense re changes to Tax Agent Services Act. Will now go to [parliamentary joint committee] to report 17 June. Shouldn't be this hard. Govt in chaos," the Senator tweeted.

The comments follow an advisory report, tabled by PJC on corporations and financial services chair Deborah O’Neill, a Labor MP, in parliament earlier today which argued against further review of the Bill.

"It is the view of the committee that due to the urgency of the Bill and the need to resume the Second Reading debate there is insufficient time to undertake an inquiry," the report said.

A dissenting statement signed by Coalition MP Steven Ciobo said the idea that there is not enough time to conduct an inquiry was "arrogant" and that further consultation with industry was required. 

Financial Planning Association general manager policy and conduct Dante de Gori, who is in Canberra today to lobby policymakers on the TASA amendments, told ifa he is also hearing that the Bill has been referred back to a committee but that there is still a lack of clarity over "timing".


De Gori said it is as yet unknown whether the Bill will go back to the PJC before or after House votes on the Bill, currently scheduled to take place tomorrow. "[The FPA] believes the House needs to be in possession of the committee's findings before an informed vote can take place," he said.

He said that the independent cross-benchers - whose position will be crucial in the ultimate vote on the Bill - are indicating they are interested in seeing further review of the Bill and have been "quite receptive" in meetings with the FPA. 

More to come.