TASA draft regulations to waive conditions for planners

The Federal Treasury has released the draft Tax Agent Services Act (TASA) regulations and has proposed waiving the tax and commercial law course requirements for financial planners who have six years full time equivalent relevant experience.

The move may result in financial planners already fulfilling parts of the requirements for registration with the Tax Practitioners Board (TPB) according to the Financial Planning Association (FPA).

FPA chief executive Mark Rantall said the draft regulations were "heading in the right direction" and "acknowledge the existing professional standards, experience and higher education levels of members of the FPA".

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The draft regulations also state that planners who have the relevant experience would also be required to be members of a TPB recognised professional body with Rantall stating the FPA was formally approved as a Recognised Tax Agent Association with the TPB in March 2012.

"Essentially, the draft we have seen today means FPA members who remain a member and adhere to the FPA's Code and Professional obligations, already fulfil many of the requirements for TPB registration."

Rantall said the position taken by Treasury confirms the value of being a member of a professional association and the benefits of higher education and professional standards in financial planning.

The FPA has also urged members to register early with the TPB but has cautioned them to not undertake additional training to meet TASA requirements until these education and experience requirements are finalised.

Treasury will receive submissions on the draft regulations during a consultation period which is set to close on 9 July 2014 with Rantall stating the FPA will provide a submission to ensure the requirements in the draft regulations are appropriate and relevant for financial planners.

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