Providing tax advice to clients under an AFSL? You need to be registered with the TPB

Sophie Grace Pty Ltd


Sophie Grace is a leading Australian firm specialising in both compliance and legal services to participants within the financial services and credit industries. We have serviced Australian and international clients across the financial sector for over a decade. From obtaining the required licences to operate your business to the provision of ongoing compliance support, many businesses have benefited from Sophie Grace’s extensive knowledge in the financial and credit space. We take pride in our ability to offer tailored solutions to a broad range of businesses whilst keeping business practicalities and obligations to regulators at the forefront of our minds when delivering services and advice. Our consultancy services can equip you with assistance and clarity in your business endeavours.
If you provide clients with advice on tax implications of the financial product advice you have provided, you need to be registered.
Australia Finance and Banking
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All AFSL holders and Corporate Authorised Representatives (CARs) who provide tax advice to retail and wholesale clients are required to be registered with the Tax Practitioners Board (TPB). This means that if you provide clients with advice relating to the tax implications of the financial product advice you have provided, you are required to be registered.

The TPB has developed a register containing the details of all registered tax (financial) advisers. These details are available to the public and can be found on the TPB website. Consumers of tax (financial) advice are encouraged by regulators to check the registration and authorisation of their advisers. The TPB register should be used alongside the ASIC Financial Adviser Register as a tool for clients to use to ensure their adviser has the appropriate authorisations to provide financial services.

How can you register?

Entities that hold an AFSL or operate as a CAR must submit an application online via the TPB website to apply for registration.

Individual representatives do not need to be registered as tax advisers as they are providing the tax advice on behalf of the AFSL entity or CAR as the employer. However, you should consider the "sufficient number of individuals" requirement as outlined below when deciding whether or not to register individual representatives.

There are a number of requirements which must be met to ensure eligibility for registration, including:

  • all individual partners and directors are over the age of 18;
  • each individual partner or director is a fit and proper person;
  • maintaining Professional Indemnity Insurance which meets the requirements of the TPB;
  • the applicant is not under external administration;
  • the company or company partner has not been convicted of any serious offences within the proceeding five (5) year period; and
  • the company must have a sufficient number of individuals registered as tax agents to maintain competency. The AFSL entity must determine what they deem to be a "sufficient number of individuals" based on the individual circumstances of the business. The TPB recognises that AFSL entities should consider: the size of the business, the services being offered, the supervisory arrangements in place and any potential conditions that may be imposed on the AFSL entity based on the qualifications and experience of its representatives.

There are a number of requirements which must be met in order to obtain individual registration, these include:

  • the individual must be over the age of 18
  • the individual is a fit and proper person
  • the individual maintains Professional Indemnity Insurance which meets the requirements of the TPB; and
  • the individual meets the qualifications and relevant experience requirements of the TPB.

Registration with the TPB includes a one-off application fee for each entity and each individual representative applying for registration.

What happens if you aren't registered?

Providing tax advice as an unregistered tax (financial) adviser carries hefty civil penalties.

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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