Accountants who give “incidental advice” should not have to be licensed, according to major accounting industry body, Chartered Accountants ANZ (CA ANZ).
However, the major accounting body has denied it is actually advocating for a return of the so-called “accountants’ exemption”.
In a submission addressing the future of the Tax Practitioners’ Board (TPB) which has been made public by the Federal Treasury, CA ANZ has canvassed whether financial advisers should be carved out of TPB jurisdiction with accountants being carved out of the financial advice regulatory regime.
It said the TPB Review Panel should consider whether financial advisers “should now be carved out of regulation of the tax profession”.
“And vice versa [the Review Panel should], consider whether tax professionals, including all forms of professional tax and accounting advisers, should be carved out of the regulatory regime for financial advisers and be dealt with under a tax profession/industry regulatory regime,” the submission said.
“Specifically, should the tax advice incidental to financial advice now be regulated by the financial advice regulator? And should financial advice incidental to taxation advice, such as some SMSF / superannuation strategic advice now be regulated by the TPB under the tax services regulatory regime rather than by ASIC under the limited licensing regime?” the submission asked.
The CA ANZ submission said the organisation was not seeking a return of the accountants’ exemption but, rather, “a new way to allow accountants who maintain their CPD and practice under a strict Code of Ethics to provide additional areas of strategic advice to their clients”.
“The outcome of a new way to provide strategic advice in superannuation may well further enhance the basic value propositions of FASEA as well as that of Commissioner Hayne.” it said.