The Financial Planning Association of Australia The Financial Planning Association of Australia

A win for common sense – TASA referred to PJC

This morning the House of Representatives referred schedules 3 and 4 of the Tax Laws Amendment (Measures No.2) Bill 2013, which contains measures to bring financial planners into the Tax Agent Services Act (TASA) regime, to the PJC for inquiry.

The move was declared a win both for common sense and due process by the Financial Planning Association (FPA). The FPA cited the Bill’s many outstanding unresolved issues and missing detail as more than good reason for its referral.

Dante De Gori, General Manager Policy and Conduct said:
“The FPA was concerned that the need to pass legislation was prioritised over the need to follow due process, consultation and developing legislation that will actually work. So we applaud the decision to give development of the Bill more time and more work.

“Financial Planners are licensed and regulated by ASIC to provide personal financial advice, which includes tax advice within the context of financial advice. Scare mongering by accounting bodies on this issue has been misleading and unhelpful. The fact is that the FOFA regime starting on 1 July 2013 implements some of the greatest reforms to the financial advice profession ever seen, in particular the best interest duty. So we are disappointed that the government initially succumbed to this unsubstantiated scare-mongering on related issues.

“Our objection has always been that this Bill should be all about actually delivering what it is supposed to deliver. It is emphatically not about financial planners shying away from improved competencies and training. FPA members are held to the highest standards available in financial planning, both domestically and internationally: that is, to CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER® (CFP) level. Our CFP professionals have had to reach the highest educational standards in the world. We don’t and never have doubted that they will also meet any new competency requirements.

“As it stands there are too many outstanding questions on this Bill with no time given to the financial planning profession and the wider financial services industry to implement associated reform by the 1 July 2013 deadline. Its referral to the PJC is the right result. We look forward to contributing to the PJC Inquiry to ensure this Bill will ultimately deliver what it’s intended to,” concluded Mr De Gori.