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ASIC releases guidance for tax (financial) advisers

The corporate regulator has released new guidance for providers of tax (financial) advice services, with changes to the regulation and registration of these advisers now in force.

Tax&Compliance Miranda Brownlee 07 January 2022
— 2 minute read

ASIC has released Information Sheet 268 for which provides guidance for advisers who provide or intend to provide tax (financial) advice services following the passage of the Better Advice Act.

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The act requires, among other things, that all financial advisers who provide personal advice to retail clients about relevant financial products be registered with ASIC by 1 January 2023.

INFO Sheet 268 addresses a range of questions, including how deemed registration works, how the ASIC registration works, and whether advisers need to complete new education and training requirements in order to provide tax (financial) advice services.

ASIC reminded advisers in the info sheet that from 1 January this year, financial advisers who provide tax (financial) advice services to retail clients for a fee must be a qualified tax-relevant provider under the Better Advice Act.

“This requires that you have met each of the applicable requirements set out in the Corporations (Relevant Providers—Education and Training Standards) Determination 2021,” ASIC stated.

“You must [also] be listed on the Financial Adviser Register as a relevant provider and registered with ASIC from 1 January 2023. You will no longer have to be registered with the Tax Practitioners Board as an individual tax (financial) adviser.” 

ASIC also explained that advisers would be primarily regulated by ASIC under the Corporations Act, with the Financial Services and Credit Panel operating as the single disciplinary body for all financial advisers who provide personal advice to retail clients on relevant products.

The information sheet also explains how ASIC registration works and what the process is.

For financial advisers who are not deemed to be registered, the info sheet explains that AFS licensees are required to lodge a one-off registration through ASIC Connect to register their financial advisers as relevant providers.

ASIC registration under Stage 1 will be available through ASIC Connect by no later than 1 October 2022.

“Each application will cost $50 and must be completed before 1 January 2023. It will be an offence from 1 January 2023 to provide personal advice to retail clients on relevant products while unregistered,” the info sheet stated.

“For deemed registrations, relevant providers and their AFS licensees are not required to lodge Stage 1 registration documents with ASIC. AFS licensees are only required to ensure the information on the Financial Advisers Register about their advisers is accurate.”

ASIC said that after being registered under Stage 1, a registration would generally remain in force until Stage 2 of the registration process begins.

“Examples of when registration will cease include where a registration prohibition or banning order is made against a relevant provider, or where a relevant provider’s authorisation to provide personal advice to retail clients ceases to be in force,” it said.

Stage 2 will begin after ASIC’s Financial Advisers Register is transferred to the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) as part of the Australian Business Registry Services.

“This will take place no later than four years after the day the Better Advice Act received Royal Assent (i.e. no later than 28 October 2025). From that time, registrations will be administered by the ATO as part of the ABRS,” the info sheet said.

ASIC releases guidance for tax (financial) advisers
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Miranda Brownlee

Miranda Brownlee

Miranda Brownlee is the deputy editor of SMSF Adviser, which is the leading source of news, strategy and educational content for professionals working in the SMSF sector.

Since joining the team in 2014, Miranda has been responsible for breaking some of the biggest superannuation stories in Australia and has reported extensively on technical strategy and legislative updates. Miranda has also directed SMSF Adviser's print publication for several years.

Miranda also has broad business and financial services reporting experience, having written for titles including Investor Daily, ifa and Accountants Daily.

Tax&Compliance