The SMSF Association (SMSFA) has called for a thorough review into SMSF licensed advice with input from the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) and Financial Adviser Standards and Ethics Authority (FASEA).
Pointing to the independent review into the effectiveness of the Tax Practitioners Board (TPB), the SMSFA said despite helping to identify some of the hurdles preventing SMSF trustees from accessing fundamental SMSF advice, it would not be enough to resolve the issues with the current SMSF regulatory system.
SMSFA chief executive John Maroney said: “We believe that to get the right regulatory structure for SMSFs is probably a task beyond this review and that it requires a broader inquiry that obtains input from ASIC, FASEA, professional bodies and consumers.
“We strongly advise that the review make a recommendation recognising this issue of SMSF regulation and that government seeks to address the issues relating to SMSF advice at an overarching level as soon as possible.”
In its submission to the TPB review, Maroney said the association was not advocating a return to the accountant’s exemption, a move flagged by Treasury in August.
He noted that while the SMSFA was not proposing a solution to the issue in its submission, it was of the opinion a solution should be found that would work for both tax agents and tax financial advisers.
“From our perspective, the issue that needs resolving is how basic SMSF services fit into the entire financial sector regulatory framework for accountants and financial advisers,” he said.
“Essentially, the outcome should improve consumer protection, ensure unscrupulous advice is prohibited and allow consumers to receive basic SMSF advice efficiently.”