Friday, 8 August 2014

Education requirements for financial planners and issues with ATO IT systems

Corporate Tax Retreat

In the first week of July, I attended the Corporate Tax Retreat at Sanctuary Cove on the Gold Coast. The Corporate Tax Retreat is an event that the Queensland Division has held for a number of years. This year, for the first time, the organising committee included a number of members from New South Wales and Victoria and the event was marketed nationally.

The intensive was very successful. A highlight for me was the panel session on the application of the amended Pt IVA. I hope this event continues to grow in stature and attracts more participants from interstate.
The Tax Institute will continue to encourage the state divisions to develop and market conferences that can draw participants from across Australia. It is a feature of the current tax education landscape that the events that are successful and well-supported are those organised on a national basis. This provides a challenge to the State Education Committees which are accustomed to organising events aimed at local practitioners and promoted in their local markets. But if they take up the challenge, it will provide opportunities for interacting with colleagues from interstate and attracting the best practitioners from around the country.
For more information on events run at the Institute, visit us online at taxinstitute.com.au/events.
Financial planners
As I write, there is still uncertainty about the final shape of the standards that financial planners will need to satisfy before they can provide tax advice. The Tax Institute is continuing to press Treasury and parliamentarians to require financial planners to meet appropriate education and experience requirements.
Issues with ATO IT systems

The two most recent issues of TaxVine (No. 24 and No. 25) record problems that a number of members have picked up with the annual PAYG instalment notices for 2014 issued to some of their clients — they are based on the 2012 assessment even though the 2013 assessment was issued some time ago and no annual instalment should be required. If our members find this confusing, imagine the confusion for taxpayers who do not have tax agents! We will continue to monitor members’ complaints about the ATO’s IT systems and raise them in the appropriate forums.
Please bring to our attention any systemic issues that you come across, either with the ATO’s systems or with the interpretation of the law.


Michael Flynn CTA is President of the National Council at The Tax Institute.

The Tax Institute is 
Australia's leading professional association in tax. Its 13,000 members include tax agents, accountants and lawyers as well as tax practitioners in corporations, government and academia.