The government has released the final report of its review into the tax practitioners board, which recommends a single point of registration for advisers and opens the door to streamlining all advice regulation through the forthcoming disciplinary board.
The review, released late on Friday, recommends that “a new model be developed” for regulation and registration of tax financial advisers in line with recommendation 2.10 from the royal commission final report, which is around the establishment of the single disciplinary body for advisers.
“This new model should incorporate the following features: single point of registration for individuals; requirement to abide by only the one code of conduct; and any disciplinary action involving the provision of tax advice is decided by experts from the tax profession,” the report said.
The new model should be established in consultation with the existing regulatory bodies ASIC, FASEA and the TPB, the review said.
“The best model in the review’s opinion is one that is aligned with the recommendations made by commissioner [Kenneth] Hayne and also recognises that ASIC has the capability, expertise and capacity to effectively regulate financial advice and the TPB has the capability, expertise and capacity to effectively regulate the provision of tax advice,” the report stated.
The report recommended that the status quo in advice regulation be maintained until the disciplinary body is established.
The review acknowledged the “regulatory overlap” that existed for advisers in having to abide by multiple sets of standards and register with multiple bodies, particularly since the introduction of the FASEA standards framework.
Commenting on the results of the review, FPA chief executive Dante De Gori said the association supported the need to remove duplicate layers of regulation for advisers.
“The FPA acknowledges the government’s support to improve the effectiveness of the TPB as part of the process of establishing a new central disciplinary body by the end of 2020,” Mr De Gori said.
“The FPA looks forward to engaging with the government to develop a functional model for implementation in 2021.”
The report also recommended a further review into “what advice accountants can or cannot give in respect of superannuation”, acknowledging the current licensing system for accountants was flawed.
“Having recommended the regulatory burden on tax financial advisers is to be reduced, the review believes it is reasonable that a similar level playing field should be considered for accountants,” the report stated.
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