Who needs to register as a tax (financial) adviser?
If any individual or entity provides tax (financial) advice services for a fee or other reward, they must be registered with the Tax Practitioners Board.
To check if a tax (financial) adviser is registered search the TPB Register
Registration ensures that tax (financial) advisers:
- meet our fit and proper requirements
- have appropriate professional indemnity insurance cover to protect consumers.
There are significant penalties for anyone providing tax (financial) advice services for a fee or reward or advertising tax (financial) advice services while unregistered.
What is a tax (financial) advice service?
A tax (financial) advice service consists of five key elements:
- a tax agent service (excluding representations to the Commissioner of Taxation)
- provided by an Australian financial services (AFS) licensee or representative of an AFS licensee
- provided in the course of advice usually given by an AFS licensee or representative
- relates to ascertaining or advising about liabilities, obligations or entitlements that arise, or could arise, under a taxation law
- reasonably expected to be relied upon by the client for tax purposes.
For further information and examples of services visit Tax (financial) advice services
There are limited situations where you do not need to register as a tax (financial) adviser. You do not need to be registered if you are:
- an employee or contractor of a registered tax agent or tax (financial) adviser and you do not provide tax (financial) advice services in your own right. However, if you are working for a company or partnership which charges or receives fees for tax (financial) advice services, the company or partnership might need you (as an individual) to be registered so that it has a sufficient number of registered individual tax (financial) advisers
- a legal practitioner providing tax (financial) advice services as a legal service under a state or territory Legal Profession Act that regulates legal practice.
Penalties for unregistered tax (financial) advisers
There are civil penalty provisions in the Tax Agent Services Act 2009 for providing a tax (financial) advice service for a fee or reward or advertising tax (financial) advice services while unregistered.
The Federal Court can impose severe penalties for breach of these civil penalty provisions.
For further information refer Civil penalties under the tax agent services regulatory regime