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Most accountants unmoved by removal of accountant’s exemption

The end of the accountant’s exemption made no difference to around 60 per cent of those giving advice around self-managed superannuation funds (SMSFs), according to a survey conducted by Money Management.

The survey, conducted during the recent SMSF Association annual conference in Melbourne, suggests that most of the accountants surveyed regarded themselves as appropriately licensed to provide SMSF advice before the new limited licensing replacing the accountant’s exemption was introduced.

Asked whether the removal of the accountant’s exemption had changed the way in which they did business around SMSFs, just over 60 per cent of respondents answered that there had been no change.

Just as importantly, nearly 64 per cent of respondents to the survey said they had not sought to become licensed to provide SMSF advice as a result of the new limited licensing regime.

The results suggest that many of those providing SMSF advice were already licensed to do so ahead of the end of the accountant’s exemption with the result that they did not have to resort to the offers being made by some major accounting bodies and financial planning dealer groups.




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...or they are making use of the generous ongoing exemptions for providing tax, super, and other forms of technical advice...which, as a compliance strategy, has been made more attractive than getting licensed because ASIC's INFO216 now says that licensed accountants are required to channel tax advice through the SOA process, even though they wouldn't need to do so under the exemption if they hadn't bothered to get a license

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