Newsletter from the Tax Practitioners Board
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Issue 50 | December 2020 - Tax (financial) adviser edition
TPB News

Season's greetings

From all of us at the TPB we wish you a safe and enjoyable break. This year has been exceptionally challenging for everyone, especially tax practitioners. We recognise that you’ve all worked hard to support your clients through natural disasters and COVID-19, while dealing with the impacts to your own business. We thank you for your dedication to your clients and for your support of the tax profession and the integrity of the tax system. We hope 2021 is a brighter year.   

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Office closure

Our offices will be closed between the Christmas and New Year holiday period. We will close from 11:30am (AEDT) on Thursday 24 December 2020 and reopen at 9:00am (AEDT) on Monday 4 January 2021. During this time, our Client Services team will be unavailable to answer any enquiries however our website will be available and you can still use our online forms by logging into your My Profile account.

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Renew early and relax!

Is your registration renewal due before the holiday period? Why not lodge early so you can enjoy the holiday period knowing your registration is secure? You can relax knowing you will remain registered until we have made a decision and notified you of the outcome. It will be one less thing on your to-do-list and a positive way to start the new year.

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Don't give your obligations a break

During the holiday season, you can give your annual declaration a break but make sure you continue meeting your ongoing obligations. You still need to:

  • maintain professional indemnity (PI) insurance
  • undertake continuing professional education (CPE)
  • satisfy fit and proper requirements
  • comply with the Code of Professional Conduct (Code), including maintaining your personal tax obligations.

Learn more.

Your personal tax obligations

Make sure your personal obligations (including those of your related entities) are up to date. This includes lodging your personal income tax returns, instalment or business activity statements on time and paying your tax bill or coming to an arrangement with the Australian Tax Office (ATO). It is also important to disclose any outstanding obligations to us - if you fail to do so, we may find you have breached Code item 1 (honesty and integrity) and impose a sanction.
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Financial advice sector reforms

On 9 December 2020, the Government announced they are implementing further reforms to strengthen the financial advice sector and provide consumers with better access to affordable and high quality financial advice. One of the reforms relates to Recommendation 2.10 of the Financial Services Royal Commission which called for a single, central disciplinary body for financial advisers. The Government will expand the operation of the Financial Services and Credit Panel (FSCP) within the Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC). 

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Enhancements to the TPB

Following an independent review led by Mr Keith James, the Government has announced its response and will begin to implement a range of reforms to the TASA and the Tax Agent Services Regulations 2009 (TASR) and consult broadly on a range of other measures. These reforms will further enhance our independence, reduce red tape for tax practitioners, give greater community confidence, and set higher standards in the tax profession.

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Practice management tips

Last webinars for the year

Our last webinars for the year will be held on Wednesday 16 December. Join us at 1pm (AEDT) to learn more about outsourcing and offshoring, including the factors to consider if entering into these arrangements and the consequences of having inadequate arrangements in place. At 3pm, join us to understand your obligations when it comes to confidentiality of client information under the Code, privacy legislation and how it relates to providing information to third parties.

Register now.

Consultative forum report

Read a summary report on our Consultative Forum held on 3 December 2020. Find out key messages from us as well as the ATO. Find out about the Government's response to the Keith James Review, our complaints process, the Government's regulation reform agenda and policy updates.

Learn more.

No holidays for cyber criminals

Although the holiday season is here and most of us will be taking a break, remember that cyber criminals won’t be. Agents of government services like you are very attractive targets. If your data is lost or compromised, it can be very difficult and sometimes costly to recover, not to mention the impact on your business reputation. Read our questions and answers from our Be cyber aware webinar for tips on how to protect yourself and your business.   
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National Tax Clinic grant program 

The ATO is inviting your feedback on their National Tax Clinic open competitive grant consultation paper. They’re seeking your input into the development of the grant opportunity guidelines that will underpin the ongoing operation of the program. They want to ensure the National Tax Clinic program continues to meet the needs and expectations of the broader community.
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Compliance matters

We work hard to enhance the integrity of the registered tax practitioner profession. One of the ways we’re doing this is by targeting the highest risk tax practitioners with our investigations and compliance programs. We believe that by doing this, we are also protecting the community and supporting those tax practitioners who continue to do the right thing. Find out what a high-risk tax practitioner is, how we identify them and how we deal with them.

Learn more.
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About the Tax Practitioners Board
The Tax Practitioners Board (TPB) was established to regulate tax practitioners in order to protect consumers. The TPB assures the community that tax practitioners meet the appropriate standards of professional and ethical conduct.
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