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Tax (financial) advice services

Tax (financial) advice services

A tax (financial) advice service consists of five key elements:

  1. a tax agent service (excluding representations to the Commissioner of Taxation):
  2. provided by an Australian financial services (AFS) licensee or representative of an AFS licensee
  3. provided in the course of advice usually given by an AFS licensee or representative
  4. relates to ascertaining or advising about liabilities, obligations or entitlements that arise, or could arise, under a taxation law
  5. reasonably expected to be relied upon by the client for tax purposes.

For the definition of a tax (financial) advice service, see section 90-15 of the Tax Agent Services Act 2009.

Example of tax (financial) advice services

The following table contains a non-exhaustive list of the types of services commonly provided and whether they constitute a tax (financial) advice service.

Service

Tax (financial)
advice service

Tax agent service

Any service specified by the TPB by legislative instrument to be a tax (financial) advice service.

Yes

Yes

Personal advice (as defined in the Corporations Act 2001), including scaled advice and intra-fund advice, which involves the application or interpretation of the taxation laws to a client’s personal circumstances and it is reasonable for the client to expect to rely on the advice for tax purposes.

 

Yes

 

Yes

Any advice (other than a financial product advice as defined in the Corporations Act 2001) that is provided in the course of giving advice of a kind usually given by a financial services licensee or a representative of a financial services licensee that involves application or interpretation of the taxation laws to the client’s personal circumstances, and it is reasonable for the client to expect to rely on the advice for tax purposes.

 

Yes

 

Yes

Factual tax information which does not involve the application or interpretation of the taxation laws to the client’s personal circumstances. Such information could be included in, but is not limited to:

  • regulated disclosures such as product disclosure statements and financial services guides
  • other products such as general marketing and promotional materials.

 

No

 

No

Client tax-related factual information. Such information includes, but is not limited to:

  • payment summaries
  • other documents such as annual summary of interest paid and account statements.

 

No

 

No

General advice (as defined in the Corporations Act 2001).

No

No

Any service that does not take into account an entity’s relevant circumstances so that it is not reasonable for the entity to expect to rely on it for tax purposes. This includes simple online calculators as defined in the Australian Securities and Investments Commission’s Class Order (CO 05/1122).

No

No

Factual information provided by call centres and front line staff and specialists that would not be expected to be relied upon for tax related purposes.

No

No

Preparing a return or a statement in the nature of a return (to provide this service would require registration as a tax agent).

No

Yes

Preparing an objection under Part IVC of the Taxation Administration Act 1953 against an assessment, determination, notice or decision under a taxation law.

No

Yes

A service specified not to be a tax agent service in Regulation 13 of the Tax Agent Services Regulations 2009.

No

No

Dealing with the Commissioner of Taxation on behalf of a client. This may include, for example, applying for a private binding ruling on behalf of a client.

No

Yes

Further information

Last modified: 30 June 2014