Education requirements for financial planners and issues with ATO IT systems

Corporate Tax Retreat

In the first week of July, I attended the Corporate Tax Retreat at Sanctuary Cove on the Gold Coast. The Corporate Tax Retreat is an
event that the Queensland Division has held for a number of years. This year,
for the first time, the organising committee included a number of members from
New South Wales and Victoria and the event was marketed nationally.

The intensive was very successful. A highlight for me was
the panel session on the application of the amended Pt IVA. I hope this event
continues to grow in stature and attracts more participants from interstate.
The Tax Institute will continue to encourage the state
divisions to develop and market conferences that can draw participants from
across Australia. It is a feature of the current tax education landscape that
the events that are successful and well-supported are those organised on a
national basis. This provides a challenge to the State Education Committees
which are accustomed to organising events aimed at local practitioners and
promoted in their local markets. But if they take up the challenge, it will
provide opportunities for interacting with colleagues from interstate and
attracting the best practitioners from around the country.
For more information on events run at the Institute, visit us online at
Financial planners
As I write, there is still uncertainty about the final shape
of the standards that financial planners will need to satisfy before they can
provide tax advice. The Tax Institute is continuing to press Treasury and parliamentarians
to require financial planners to meet appropriate education and experience

Issues with ATO IT systems

The two most recent issues of TaxVine (No. 24 and No.
25) record problems that a number of members have picked up with the annual
PAYG instalment notices for 2014 issued to some of their clients — they are
based on the 2012 assessment even though the 2013 assessment was issued some
time ago and no annual instalment should be required. If our members find this
confusing, imagine the confusion for taxpayers who do not have tax agents! We
will continue to monitor members’ complaints about the ATO’s IT systems and
raise them in the appropriate forums.

Please bring to our attention any systemic issues that you
come across, either with the ATO’s systems or with the interpretation of the

Michael Flynn CTA is President of the National Council at 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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