While financial planners have expressed concerns about falling under Tax Practitioners Board (TPB) jurisdiction, accountancy group CPA Australia has told the Government it does not want to see accountants forced to carry the cost of increased TPB activity as was the case in the current financial year.
As well, CPA Australia has pointed out that accountants wo are providing financial planning services are already facing substantial cost increases and do not need more.
CPA Australia has used a pre-Budget submission to argue that if the TPB needs more funding, then it is the taxpayers who should foot the cost via the Budget.
“The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) is undertaking several large projects, such as its tax agent visitation program, to improve the integrity of some tax practitioners. These projects are likely to lead to an increase in the number of tax practitioners being referred to the TPB by the ATO,” it said.
“We also expect that the TPB will support the ATO’s projects in other ways. Therefore, it is important that the TPB receives additional funding to carry out this expected increase in work flow.”
“We do not however support a repeat of the 2018-19 budget, where the increase in funding for the TPB was paid for by tax practitioners through a large increase in the fee they pay the TPB,” the CPA Australia submission said.
“Given that a well-functioning and regulated profession is critical to the tax system and is therefore of benefit to the broader community, such an increase in funding should primarily come direct from taxpayers.”
“Further, we are strongly opposed to the application of a full cost recovery model on the TPB,” the submission said. “The primary function of the TPB is to regulate tax practitioners to protect consumers – it is therefore consumers that primarily benefit from the work of the TPB; and so, the public should continue to be the main source of funding for the TPB.”
Further, many tax practitioners undertake other regulated roles such as SMSF auditors and/or provide financial advisory services and are already facing large increases in regulatory charges from multiple sources.”
“It is essential that this cumulative impact of higher regulatory charges on professional accountants offering services beyond tax service, be considered. The Government should also fund a review of the Tax Agent Services Act to ensure that it is still fit for purpose and consistent with other regulation given changes to regulation for the providers of financial advisory services since the Act’s implementation.”