Under the Tax Agent Services Regulations, financial advisers that offer “tax (financial) advice” will need to be members of a “professional association” recognised by the TPB before 1 January 2018.
AIOFP executive director Peter Johnston told delegates to the association’s national conference on Hamilton Island last month that external events have held up the AIOFP’s application, which was filed in May 2017.
“The primary problem has been the CPA and [former CPA CEO Alex Malley] fiasco combined with the fraud relating to [former ATO deputy commissioner] Michael Cranston,” Mr Johnston explained. “The ATO is the regulator of the TPB and they have been spooked into an extreme bureaucratic mode.”
Accountants Daily’s sister publication, ifa, understands that as many as 28 separate associations are in various stages of application for TPB professional association recognition.
However, in response the TPB issued a statement clarifying its relationship with the ATO and describing suggestions that external factors have held up the approval process.
“The TPB assesses an application for accreditation as a recognised professional association when their application is submitted,” a TPB spokesperson said.
“However, the TPB can only make a decision to approve an application where all the information has been received and satisfies all of the requirements for recognition set out in the TASR.
“The TPB is independent of the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) however, the TPB works with the ATO ensure the integrity of the tax system and high levels of consumer protection are maintained.”
The TPB in particular believes significant funding constraints have hampered its performance as it grappled with a substantially increased workload, particularly in relation to the registration of tax (financial) advisers.
"At 30 June 2017, 78,593 tax practitioners were registered with the TPB. This population is now more than three times the number registered when the TPB first commenced in 2010, yet our budget in 2010-11 was $16.8 million,” a spokesperson told Accountants Daily in late October.