MEDIA RELEASE: Public at risk while financial planners tax advice reforms delayed

The tax advice reforms currently being considered in Parliament must be pushed through if Australians are to have the necessary consumer protection when it comes to tax advice, according to the Institute of Public Accountants (IPA).

"Financial planners have been able to provide tax advice without ensuring the same competency levels required by qualified tax agents," said IPA chief executive officer, Andrew Conway.

"We fundamentally believe that anyone providing tax advice should do so to the same professional and ethical standards required under the Tax Agent Services Act (TASA).

"The fact that the financial services industry are seeking to defer the introduction of the new regulatory framework puts the public interest at risk.

"It's time for certainty for consumers and financial planners. If the legislation does not pass it creates a potential for financial planners being subjected to enforcement by the Tax Practitioner's Board as the exemption automatically expires on 30 June 2013," said Mr Conway.