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Screenshot of a breaking news alert e-mail from Q2 2017
The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) has announced that it has updated its guidance for accountants who provide services on self-managed superannuation funds (SMSFs) to cover the exemption from the Australian Financial Services (AFS) licensing requirements for tax and BAS agents.
The guidance was developed in conjunction with the Tax Practitioners Board and is being released as part of updates to Information Sheet 216 AFS licensing requirements for accountants who provide SMSF services.
It sets out some basic principles which tax and BAS agents can apply to understand whether their advice falls within the licensing exemption, and provides a few examples to illustrate how the exemption works.
The guidance also explains the relationship between this exemption (section 766B(5)(c) of the Corporations Act) and the exemption for providing tax advice on financial products (regulation 7.1.29(4) of the Corporations Regulations).
In addition, ASIC has made amendments to INFO 216 to further clarify what accountants can do when referring a client to an AFS licensee or representative for financial advice.
Under section 766B(5)(c) of the Corporations Act, a registered tax agent or BAS agent can provide advice which is given in the ordinary course of their activities and which is reasonably regarded as a necessary part of those activities.