Accountants who provide advice to self-managed superannuation funds (SMSFs) need to start applying for a limited Australian Financial Services Licence (AFSL) or risk missing the 1 July 2016 deadline.
The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) warned that accountants who fail to lodge an application for a limited AFSL by 1 March 2016, run a significant risk that their application would not be assessed in time.
ASIC deputy chairman, Peter Kell, urged accountants not to be complacent, saying they needed to "act now", or lose their ability to provide SMSF advice legally.
"There has been adequate time to apply for these licences," he said.
"After 30 June 2016 any accountant found to be providing unlicensed advice risks regulatory action."
"Providing unlicensed financial services is a criminal offence."
ASIC revealed that it has granted "only 70 licences — despite the application process being open for the past two years".