ATO, financial advice

FAAA pushes for tax portal access

FAAA ATO portal access Tax data Financial advisers

The FAAA has urged the government to permit financial advisers to access clients' tax information in order to simplify the advisory process.

The Financial Advice Association Australia (FAAA) has renewed a call for financial advisers to gain access to their clients’ tax details given they are now able provide advice on tax-related matters.

“Financial advisers are now qualified tax (relevant) providers (QTRPs) and have education and ongoing CPD (continuing professional development) requirements specific to taxation,” the FAAA stated in its 2024/25 budget submission.

“[As such, the] government should enable the ATO to create a new, read-only class of access to the ATO portal for licensed financial advisers.

“Access would be granted in a similar way to the current process for tax agents, in that the portal would have a link to the ASIC (Australian Securities and Investments Commission) Financial Adviser Register and clients could select their adviser from this list and authorise their access.”

According to the association, the step would remove bottlenecks in the advice process and enable practitioners to streamline the provision of fit-for-purpose advice to their clients.

“Important information such as taxable income, superannuation balance, contributions and components and so on are absolutely critical, and financial plans cannot be written, implemented or effectively updated without this information,” it said.

“At present, substantial inefficiencies exist in accessing this information. Clients themselves are often unaware of these details and in most cases advisers must request this information from their accountant and\or superannuation fund, leading to additional costs and often substantial unnecessary delays for the client.

“In light of recent changes to the profession, including a publicly available register that highlights the tax and licensing status of every financial planner in the country, now is the appropriate time to enable a client’s appointed financial adviser to access information held in the ATO portal.”

The SMSF Association has previously called for greater access to ATO data for advisers, arguing it would enhance the management of a client’s superannuation.

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