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Issue 20 | May 2017 - Tax (financial) adviser edition

Message from the Chair

This is a busy time for the TPB, with a significant increase in tax (financial) adviser registration and renewal applications.

We are currently focused on alerting financial advisers who are currently not registered with TPB, of the need to register if their financial advice outlines the tax consequences for their clients and this advice is provided for a fee or other reward. We are encouraging entities of this type to consider the transitional registration option that ends on 30 June. We recently:
  • wrote to 5,000 AFS licensees who are not registered with us to advise them if they and/or their authorised representatives are providing tax advice or advice on tax consequences as part of their financial advice to clients for a fee or reward, they must be registered to provide those services legally
  • reminded 1,085 AFS licensees registered with us that any of their individual or corporate authorised representatives providing tax (financial) advice services for a fee or other reward must be registered
  • ran an advertising campaign on finance industry websites alerting financial planners and  advisers providing tax advice or advice on tax consequences as part of financial advice and for a fee or reward that they must be registered with the TPB. 
Subsequently we have seen an increase in the number of tax (financial) adviser applicants. Between March and April we received 700 new tax (financial) adviser applications.

As we learn more about your profession and its range of business structures, we continue to fine-tune how we can best work with you within our legislative framework. We have published some new guidance to assist you on certain ‘hot’ topics:
We will keep you informed of the work we are doing to enhance the registration experience.

Ian R Taylor
Chair, Tax Practitioners Board

Transitional option ends 30 June

If you are not yet registered with us, find out if transitional registration is the right option for you and/or your business. You can still register under the transitional option - but be quick as this registration option expires on 30 June.

June webinars

Our free June webinars will cover the Code of Professional Conduct for tax (financial) advisers and obligations in relation to offshoring, outsourcing and reasonable care. Attending a webinar contributes to your CPE/CPD.

New confidentiality guidance

A new TPB information sheet on obligations regarding confidentiality of client information under the Code of Professional Conduct provides guidance on how to comply with confidentiality obligations, including practical examples. 
TPB(I) 32/2017 Code of Professional Conduct - Confidentiality of client information for tax (financial) advisers 

First webcast video

In March, over 700 financial planners and advisers Australia-wide joined our first live-streamed event presented by Board member, Julie Berry. Julie and our Chair, Ian Taylor, answered questions sent in by participants during the session. Watch the video and add 90 minutes to your CPE/CPD.

Upgrading your computer?

If you are about to upgrade your computer, remember to protect the security and confidentiality of your client records by making sure you completely delete any data contained on the hard drive of any equipment you are discarding or reselling. Learn more from the TPB and the ATO about how to protect your practice.

CPE = CPD

Is there a difference between 'continuing professional education' (CPE) and 'continuing professional development' (CPD)? No. The Tax Agent Services Act 2009 uses the term ‘education’, but you may be more familiar with ‘development’. Both CPE and CPD describe work-related learning for TPB purposes, these acronyms can be used interchangeably.

New reference tool

You never know when you might need this handy new reference tool outlining the support and information the TPB offers to tax (financial) advisers. Why not save it to your favourites?

Mental health matters

Your mental health is important and can have an impact on your ability to run your business. If you are struggling, we encourage you to seek professional help or contact your professional association as early as possible. Visit Beyond Blue or call 1300 224 636.

Your feedback

We invite your feedback on topics or issues you would like us to address in future editions of TPB eNews.

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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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