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New search for TASA Regime Compliance

 

Background to TASA Regime

The Tax Agent Services Act 2009 (TASA) regime commenced implementation in July 2014, and requires authorised representatives who provide a ‘tax (financial) advice service’ for payment to register with the Tax Practitioners Board (TPB).

Financial advisors who provide tax (financial) advice under a licensee who then passes on payment to the advisor will not be required to register with the TPB; however, the licensee will. If the financial advisor is an individual licensee, then they will have to register directly.

Benefits exist for those that register with the TPB sooner, as registration requirements become more involved the longer initial registration with the Board is delayed.

Registration Requirements

Registration with the TPB means that registered Tax (Financial) Advisers and BAS Agents must comply with the TASA and the code of professional conduct. It involves passing a ‘Fit and Proper’ requirement to assess an individual’s suitability to the role, as well as the expectation that the individual will comply with continuing professional education requirements before renewal.

Additionally, to register or renew registration with the TPB, Tax (Financial) Advisers and BAS Agents must satisfy established qualification and experience requirements as detailed in the Tax Agent Services Regulations 2009 (TASR). There are a number of options available to individuals to satisfy these requirements, but broadly speaking each option will include a major qualification, participation in approved courses and relevant experience.

Registration with the TPB is occurring in three phases:

  1. The first phase, the Notification Option, is available from 1 July 2014 to 31 December 2015 and does not require registered parties to meet the education and experience requirements until they are due for renewal.
  2. The second phase, the Transitional Option, is effective as of 1 January 2016 and concludes 30 June 2017. This option requires registered parties to meet experience requirements, but not education requirements until renewal.
  3. The third phase, the Standard Option, commences 1 January 2016 and will be the only ongoing option after the expiration of the other phases. This option requires registered parties to meet both education and experience requirements at the time of application.

The earlier Tax (Financial) Advisers and BAS Agents register with the TPB, the longer their registration remains active before it is due for renewal. This means that registered Advisers and Agents will have more time to ensure they meet the necessary education and experience requirements before they renew their registration.

PeopleCheck’s Revised Professional & Licensee Register Search

PeopleCheck has modified its Professional & Licensee Register Search to incorporate a search of the TPB register which will determine whether a candidate is a current, registered Tax (Financial) Adviser or BAS Agent.

This search also details whether the candidate has received any of the following within the last twelve months:

  1. Sanctions;
  2. Orders;
  3. Suspensions; and
  4. Appealable decisions that have not yet expired.

If a candidate has failed to renew their registration they will not appear on the list until they have re-registered with the TPB.

Validating Education and Experience Requirements

Once the TPB finalise the qualification and experience requirements for the Regime, PeopleCheck will look at a product for relevant clients to verify this compliance in accordance with their needs.

PeopleCheck currently offer a similar verification search for RG146 Compliance purposes.

This product will likely include verification of the candidate’s qualifications and attendance at Board approved courses against the TPB’s compliance benchmarks. Similar methodology will be used to assess employment history and industry experience where appropriate.

The TPB does not appear to be assessing qualification compliance for registration until the roll-out of the Standard Option on 1 January 2016.

References

TPB – http://www.tpb.gov.au

FPA – financialplanningmagazine.com.au

The information contained in this paper is the opinion of PeopleCheck Pty Ltd and does not form the basis of legal advice.

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