The institute said it is disappointed that the Tax Practitioners Board has not responded to calls from the industry to increase the educational qualification requirements for tax (financial) advisers.
Chief executive officer Andrew Conway said that at a time when the public is seeking the best financial planning and tax advice, these new advisers need to be adequately prepared for the role.
In its submission to the TPB on an exposure draft, A course in Australian taxation law, which has been approved by the board for tax (financial) advisers, the IPA stated that a one semester unit is inadequate.
“The provision of tax advice is inextricably connected with the provision of financial advice and therefore establishing appropriate education requirements, including relevant education in Australian tax law, is essential,” the submission said.
“Once a tax (financial) adviser is registered with the TPB, the adviser will be permitted to give tax advice covering any tax matter, provided it is in the course of providing financial advice. We therefore believe the duration of a course in Australian tax law should be of sufficient breadth to equip a tax (financial) adviser to adequately advise the public on tax issues.”
The IPA believes the proposal of a one semester unit in tax law is inadequate unless the scope of advice is significantly restricted in line with the level of training.
“There needs to be a level playing field in the advice arena to ensure the public interest is being served. There is little difference in the scope of advice that a tax (financial) adviser can provide compared to a tax agent so we believe they should have a similar level of Australian tax knowledge as required by tax agents,” the IPA submitted.