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Government backs down on TASA

Financial advice industry concerns over the implications of amendments to the Tax Agent Services Act have been heard, as the federal government agrees to have the Bill sent for further review.

Assistant treasurer David Bradbury, after weeks of intense lobbying by the financial services industry, has proposed an amendment to have the TASA-relevant sections of the Bill excised and forwarded to the parliamentary joint committee on financial services and corporations.  

Earlier, shadow treasurer Joe Hockey made a passionate speech to the federal parliament, arguing that the TASA amendments have attempted to be rushed through the House without sufficient industry or committee consultation.

“The Coalition is deeply unhappy with the government’s chaotic handling of this Bill,” he said. “There has been no community consultation, no committee consultation.

“They wonder why their government is so chaotic – this is the largest taxation Bill on record – and the government introduces it and refuses to hold any consultation and tries to rush it through on the eve on an election without consulting those that are affected most.”

Describing the Bill as “ridiculous” and a “joke”, Hockey said that placing a regulatory burden on the financial services industry – which he said was a highly important sector in the economy – without sufficient consultation and “giving them four weeks' notice” reflects poor economic management by the government.

Shadow financial services minister Mathias Cormann tweeted that the government has “comprehensively backed down from his push to ram ill-thought out changes to the Tax Agent Services Act through parliament”.

"A win for common sense," said the FPA's Dante De Gori.