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Tax board prepares for adviser influx

The Tax Practitioners Board has begun offering adviser support services and devising new frameworks as it prepares for theTax Agent Services Act (TASA) requirements to be phased in.

In its annual report, the TPB confirmed it would provide advisers with guidance on their obligations under the TASA legislation, which requires advisers offering “tax (financial) advice” to begin registering with the TPB.

However, the report also warned budgetary pressures may be exacerbated as more advisers seek TPB registration.

One of the board’s major priorities over the past year has been the development of frameworks for advisers applying for tax accreditation, it continued. 

“There was also strong focus on the development of new regulatory arrangements for tax (financial) advisers, which included the provision of specific guidance as to what is a tax (financial) advice service, and our requirements for continuing professional education and professional indemnity insurance,” the report stated.

The TPB confirmed it would liaise with ASIC to provide advisers with updated information and assistance as the new regulations take effect.

“Significant support will be provided during the notification and transitional phases, where we will flexibly educate and assist those entities who wish, or need, to register with the TPB,” the report stated.

The annual report also showed that the TPB has developed a memorandum of understanding with ASIC to manage the process of registering tax advisers.

However, the TPB reported it faced budgetary cutbacks, which could worsen as more advisers come under the TPB’s oversight.

The TPB budget from the 2014/2015 year was $14.32 million, a shortfall of $2.68 million from the previous year.

“These new budget pressures have the potential to significantly impact on TPB operations, particularly with the anticipated increased workload to regulate tax (financial) advisers,” the report stated.