ASIC, Regulation

TPB status key to speed of TFA registration

ASIC TPB registration

The automatic registration of tax financial advisers with ASIC will depend on their status with the Tax Practitioners Board at year’s end.

Tax financial advisers (TFA) registered with the Tax Practitioners Board (TPB) before the end of the year will be the only beneficiaries of a ‘deemed registration’ process to the Australian Securities and Investments Commission’s (ASIC) Financial Advisers Register (FAR), according to an information sheet released by the regulator.

In details contained in Information Sheet 268 FAQs: Regulation and registration of relevant providers of tax (financial) advice services, ASIC stated TFAs who were not registered with the TPB by 31 December would need to be manually added to the FAR.

“If you are a relevant provider [who provides tax financial advice] and you are not registered with the TPB as an individual TFA immediately before 1 January 2022, or your registration with the TPB expires and is not renewed beyond 1 January 2022, your AFS (Australian financial services) licensee will need to separately apply to register you with ASIC,” the information sheet stated.

It also made a distinction between a TFA and a tax agent, noting the latter would also have to apply for registration and remain registered with the TPB.

“If you are registered with the Tax Practitioners Board as a tax agent, you will not be deemed registered with ASIC under the Better Advice Act. If you wish to be a relevant provider from 1 January 2022, you will need to register separately with ASIC,” it said.

“Unlike individual tax (financial) advisers, from 1 January 2022, if you are a tax agent, you will still need to maintain your registration with the Tax Practitioners Board.”

The change of registration for TFAs from the TPB to ASIC follows the introduction of the Financial Sector Reform (Hayne Royal Commission Response – Better Advice) Act, which received royal assent in late October and commences from 1 January.

Under the act, which allows for the creation of the Financial Services and Credit Panel and ASIC oversight of the adviser exam, TFAs will only be registered with ASIC, and not with the TPB as well.

The information sheet noted that for TFAs who receive deemed registration it will be business as usual from the start of 2022 provided they have completed specific education and training in the areas of commercial law and taxation law. However, TFAs with pending registrations will have to wait till they are successfully processed.

“Generally, from 1 January 2022, a relevant provider can legally provide tax (financial) advice services for a fee if they are a qualified tax relevant provider,” ASIC said.

“Importantly, relevant providers who have a pending application for registration with the TPB submitted on or before 31 December 2021 are generally unable to give tax (financial) advice from 1 January 2022 until the date when the application is approved by the TPB.”

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