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Compliance

Registered tax adviser numbers bounce back

The Tax Practitioners Board (TPB) has revealed the total number of registered tax financial advisers stands at around 19,000 following the 31 January renewal deadline.

TPB chair Ian Taylor said just over 19,000 tax financial advisers originally registered with the board before the notification option ended on 31 December 2015.

Of those, around 13,000 tax financial advisers applied to renew their registration, Taylor said.

“Although approximately 6000 tax financial adviser notifiers did not renew their registration, we have had the same number of new tax financial advisers register through the transitional and standard registration options,” he revealed.

“Most of the tax financial adviser notifiers that did not renew were no longer representatives of an Australian financial services licensee.

“Others had notified to register when they did not need to, for example, or they did not actually provide tax financial advice services.”

He reminded tax financial advisers with renewal decisions pending that with more than 6400 renewal applications still to be processed, they would remain registered while the TPB considered their application and the TPB Public Register would show their renewal had been lodged.

“Due to the work involved to access each application, it may take a few months until we are able to notify tax financial advisers of the decision regarding their renewal applications,” he said.

“We give new tax practitioner applications a higher priority than renewals so applicants, once registered, may start providing tax financial advice services and commence their business.”

If a renewal application was accepted, the applicant would be registered for a period of at least three years from the date the TPB made the decision, rather than the date the application was lodged, he said.

He also emphasised that tax financial advisers who did not renew their registration must cease providing tax advice related to the financial services they provided for a fee or reward.

They would need to lodge a new registration application and await a decision before providing those services in the future, he said.

“Significant penalties may apply for unregistered entities providing or advertising tax financial services or representing themselves as a tax financial adviser,” he warned.

“If you suspect someone is acting illegally, please let us know.”

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