Registering with the TPB as a tax (financial) adviser means you
are immediately subject to the TASA Code of Professional Conduct
(the Code), even if the transitional arrangements apply to you.
The Code is a generic one that applies to all types of tax
agents. The obligations imposed by the Code are found in the TAS
Act, and listed below:
You must act honestly and with integrity.
You must comply with the taxation laws in the conduct of your
you receive money or other property from or on behalf of a
you hold the money or other property on trust;
You must act lawfully in the best interests of your
You must have in place adequate arrangements for the management
of conflicts of interest that may arise in relation to the
activities that you undertake in the capacity of a registered tax
Unless you have a legal duty to do so, you must not disclose
any information relating to a client's affairs to a third party
without your client's permission.
You must ensure that a tax (financial) advice service that you
provide, or that is provided on your behalf, is provided
You must maintain knowledge and skills relevant to the tax
(financial) advice services that you provide.
You must take reasonable care in ascertaining a client's
state of affairs, to the extent that ascertaining the state of
those affairs is relevant to a statement you are making or a thing
you are doing on behalf of the client.
You must take reasonable care to ensure that taxation laws are
applied correctly to the circumstances in relation to which you are
providing advice to a client.
You must not knowingly obstruct the proper administration of
the taxation laws.
You must advise your client of the client's rights and
obligations under the taxation laws that are materially related to
the *tax (financial) advice services you provide.
You must maintain professional indemnity insurance that meets
the Board's requirements.
You must respond to requests and directions from the Board in a
timely, responsible and reasonable manner.
As a consequence of breaching the Code, the TPB may elect to
impose any one of several administrative sanctions. Consequences
range from a written caution, to termination of registration and
civil penalties (fines). The severity of the sanction will depend
upon the severity of the breach as assessed by the Board. For more
details see the TPB's '
Code of Professional Conduct Explanatory Paper' on the TPB
In practice, if you are complying with financial services
regulation and professional association requirements, you will be
complying with many of the obligations imposed by the Code.
However, you will need to factor these obligations into your
existing compliance arrangements.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general
guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought
about your specific circumstances.
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