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Providing Tax Advice to Clients under an AFSL? You Need to be Registered with the TPB

Posted on August 29th, 2017 by Sophie Gerber in AFSLs

All AFSL holders and Corporate Authorised Representatives (CARs) who provide tax advice to retail and wholesale clients are required to be registered with the Tax Practitioners Board (TPB). This means that if you provide clients with advice relating to the tax implications of the financial product advice you have provided, you are required to be registered.

The TPB has developed a register containing the details of all registered tax (financial) advisers. These details are available to the public and can be found on the TPB website. Consumers of tax (financial) advice are encouraged by regulators to check the registration and authorisation of their advisers. The TPB register should be used alongside the ASIC Financial Adviser Register as a tool for clients to use to ensure their adviser has the appropriate authorisations to provide financial services.

How can you register?

Entities that hold an AFSL or operate as a CAR must submit an application online via the TPB website to apply for registration.

Individual representatives do not need to be registered as tax advisers as they are providing the tax advice on behalf of the AFSL entity or CAR as the employer. However, you should consider the “sufficient number of individuals” requirement as outlined below when deciding whether or not to register individual representatives.

There are a number of requirements which must be met to ensure eligibility for registration, including:

  • all individual partners and directors are over the age of 18;
  • each individual partner or director is a fit and proper person;
  • maintaining Professional Indemnity Insurance which meets the requirements of the TPB;
  • the applicant is not under external administration;
  • the company or company partner has not been convicted of any serious offences within the proceeding five (5) year period; and
  • the company must have a sufficient number of individuals registered as tax agents to maintain competency. The AFSL entity must determine what they deem to be a “sufficient number of individuals” based on the individual circumstances of the business. The TPB recognises that AFSL entities should consider: the size of the business, the services being offered, the supervisory arrangements in place and any potential conditions that may be imposed on the AFSL entity based on the qualifications and experience of its representatives.

There are a number of requirements which must be met in order to obtain individual registration, these include:

Registration with the TPB includes a one-off application fee for each entity and each individual representative applying for registration.

What happens if you aren’t registered?

Providing tax advice as an unregistered tax (financial) adviser carries hefty civil penalties.

Sophie Grace can assist you in applying for registration with the TPB. If you would like to discuss the registration requirements in more detail or for further assistance with your TPB obligations please contact us.

Sarah Murray

Sarah works with the Compliance Team with a particular focus on compliance and legal services. Sarah also works with the Legal Team providing ongoing assistance in drafting and reviewing documentation as well as legal research. Sarah assists clients with AFSL and ACL applications, variations and also assists in the implementation of compliance reviews. She provides ongoing compliance support in the form of compliance program implementation and reviews.