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Hewison Private Wealth - Insights
Hewison Insights
Tax Advice

Consumers the winner as common sense prevails

Glenn Fairbairn
Director/Private Client Adviser
13 Feb 2011

Over the last 12 months there has been an ongoing feud between Accountants and Financial Planners regarding whether it is appropriate for Financial Planners to provide tax advice.

Accountants are regulated through the Tax Agent Act which requires them to have a tertiary qualification or diploma and a minimum of eight years of full-time experience during the past 10 years. This compares with financial planners who can advise clients after undertaking a one week diploma. Accountants are obviously not impressed by this education gap.

Hewison Private Wealth have always been strong advocates of lifting the minimum education standards required by financial planners and have always maintained a minimum degree qualification for all of our advisers. We applauded the Financial Planning Association’s announcement in 2010 that all new members from 2013 must have an approved degree.

We believe that it is important for Financial Planners and Accountants to work together to achieve the best overall outcomes for our clients. We do not see ourselves as specialist tax advisers, however, Financial Planners need to be able to provide tax advice that is related to the financial planning process i.e. salary sacrifice strategies, insurance policies and small business capital gains tax concessions without the added burden of multiple layers of regulation.

In light of the above, we are encouraged by the government’s recent announcement that Financial Planners will not need to be regulated by the Tax Practitioners Board or become registered tax agents. Financial Planners, will however be required to obtain additional qualifications to advise clients on tax issues. We would strongly endorse this requirement as it is the consumer who will benefit from an increase in the quality of the advice they receive.

Hewison Private Wealth is a Melbourne based independent financial planning firm. Our financial advisers are highly qualified wealth managers and specialise in self managed super funds (SMSF), financial planning, retirement planning advice and investment portfolio management. If you would like to speak to a financial adviser on how you can secure your financial future please contact us 03 8548 4800, email info@hewison.com.au or visit www.hewison.com.auPlease note: The advice provided above is general information only and individuals should seek specialised advice from a qualified financial advisor. The views in this blog are those of the individual and may not represent the general opinion of the firm. Please contact Hewison Private Wealth for more information.