ASIC updates SMSF guidance for accountants

The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) has updated guidance for accountants who provide services on self-managed superannuation funds (SMSFs) to cover the exemption from the Australian Financial Services (AFS) licensing requirements for tax and BAS agents. 

Under section the Corporations Act, a registered tax agent or BAS (business activity statement) agent can provide advice which is given in the ordinary course of their activities and which is reasonably regarded as a necessary part of those activities.

The updated guidance sets out some basic principles which tax and BAS agents can apply to understand whether their advice falls within the licensing exemption and provides a few examples to illustrate how the exemption works, ASIC said.

The guidance also explains the relationship between this exemption and the exemption for providing tax advice on financial products, the regulator said.

In addition, ASIC said it has made amendments to INFO 216 to further clarify what accountants can do when referring a client to an AFS licensee or representative for financial advice.

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