The Tax Practitioners Board has dismissed a consultant's interpretation of a possible exemption for advisers under the Tax Agent Services Act, saying it would only apply in limited circumstances.
Last week, SMART Compliance principal Brett Walker told ifa that there may be some licensees that are needlessly registering with the TPB, and that the AFA and the FPA needed to stand up for its members on that front.
TPB chair Ian Taylor told ifa that Mr Walker is technically correct in saying an adviser may be exempt from TPB registration if their clients cannot be 'reasonably expected to rely' on the advice given.
However, Mr Taylor does not believe this can apply to most advisers.
“What Brett is saying is that, 'if you provide advice to your client and the client doesn't rely on the advice, then you don't need to be registered with the board',” Mr Taylor said.
“Whilst that is strictly correct in terms of the legislation, the reality is, from our perspective, that there is no point in giving advice to a client if you don't expect that the client is going to rely on that advice.”
Mr Taylor said there are some circumstances where an entity might not need to be registered with the TPB because the nature of the advice they provide does not include tax advice.
For example, he said these circumstances may apply to a mortgage broker or a general insurance broker, where the client would not be expecting to receive tax advice about that particular product.
Mr Taylor also defended the professional associations, including the AFA and the FPA, in their role in informing licensees around TPB registration requirements.
“We've been very active in recent times, particularly because of this upcoming renewal phase and because of the fact that another registration opportunity expires on 30 June this year,” he said.
“The professional associations have been entirely co-operative with the TPB in assisting us to get those messages out.”
Adrian Flores is a deputy editor at Momentum Media, focusing mainly on banking, wealth management and financial services. He has also written for Public Accountant, Accountants Daily and The CEO Magazine.
You can contact him on [email protected].
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