Legislative certainty for consumer protection around tax advice

Last week brought with it welcome agreement to legislate consumer protection certainty for people receiving tax advice from their financial adviser. The agreement between the Government and the Coalition will ensure that legislative certainty for consumer protection is achieved before the 43rd Parliament rises for the final time next week.

As members would be aware, The Tax Institute has worked tirelessly for legislation that will ensure consumers of tax advice received from financial advisers have appropriate protections in place.

The measures ensure that financial advisers meet appropriate professional and ethical standards. They also lay the foundation to ensure that financial advisers have the educational qualifications and experience to be able to advise people about their investments and tax consequences.

This follows the report of the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Corporations and Financial Services, at which The Tax Institute presented evidence last week. The Committee recommended both minor changes and that the legislation be reintroduced and passed by Parliament.

However, we are disappointed at the decision to defer the start date of these reforms for yet another 12 months. This is the fourth delay to the start date of these 2010 reforms, with the new law now taking effect on 1 July 2014.

Over this period, we look forward to working with the Government to ensure that financial advisers have sufficient experience and educational qualifications in tax such that the true intent of the law is fully realised.
We are continuing our consultations with respect to the draft regulations that will set out the educational requirements and experience levels.

I would be happy to discuss in more detail, so please be in touch via Tax Policy.

Robert Jeremenko

Robert Jeremenko CTA is Senior Tax Counsel of The Tax Institute.

The Tax Institute is Australia’s leading professional association in tax. Its 13,000 members include tax agents, accountants and lawyers as well as tax practitioners in corporations, government and academia.


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