TPB considers increasing education hours

TPB continuing education

Financial advisers registered with the TPB may see a 25 per cent increase in their ongoing education requirements, but will be able to gain credit for FASEA-mandated training.

Registered tax practitioners, including financial advisers, will be required to complete 120 hours of continuing professional education (CPE), instead of the current level of 90 hours, to remain registered with the Tax Practitioners Board (TPB) under a new draft proposal released by the body.

Under the proposal, financial advisers who are registered as tax agents with the TPB will be required to complete the new minimum of 120 hours of CPE, which must be relevant to the advice services provided by the registered financial adviser, within three years.

The draft proposal noted the number of hours of CPE that could be completed in a year could vary, but at least a minimum of 20 hours had to be completed each year.

The proposal also recognised financial advisers were likely to be members of other professional bodies that also carried CPE requirements and were also required to meet continuing professional development (CPD) standards set by the Financial Adviser Standards and Ethics Authority (FASEA).

The draft proposal said: “Where a registered tax (financial) adviser is a member of a recognised tax (financial) adviser association or recognised tax agent association, or where the registered tax (financial) adviser is required to meet FASEA’s CPD requirements, the TPB will accept the registered tax (financial) adviser’s compliance with their association’s CPE/CPD requirements, or FASEA’s CPD requirements, subject to the following:

  • the activities completed must be relevant to the tax (financial) advice services provided,
  • the activities completed must be provided by persons or organisations with suitable qualifications and/or practical experience in the subject area,
  • the CPE/CPD completed meets the minimum level of CPE as specified [in the exposure draft explanatory paper].”

The proposal is based on public consultation carried out by the TPB in February 2020, with the increase in the minimum number of continuing education hours one of the key changes put forward by that initial feedback.

TPB chair Ian Klug said the board recognised the ongoing changes to taxation laws and the expansion of services provided by tax practitioners and expanded CPE hours was consistent with CPE developments.

“The proposed CPE standard of 120 hours over three years equates to less than an hour per week. This proposal also aligns with the standard of some other professions and matches the requirements of some professional associations,” Klug said.

“Ongoing education enhances the integrity of the tax profession, better supports client needs and builds community confidence in the tax system. We welcome feedback from practitioners, their associations and any other interested parties that can assist the TPB in setting the right CPE standards.”

The draft proposal is open to written submissions until 11 March and the TPB will provide transitional arrangements to help practitioners comply if any changes are implemented to commence from 1 July 2021.

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