Tax (financial) adviser numbers stay steady

The Tax Practitioners Board (TPB) has revealed that, with the passing of the 31 January renewal deadline for tax (financial) advisers, the total number of registered advisers has remained stable at 19,000.

Of the 19,000 tax (financial) advisers originally registered with the TPB before the notification option ended on 31 December, 2015, around 13,000 applied to renew their registration.

TPB chair, Ian Taylor said that the organisation still had more than 6,400 renewal applications to process. He stressed that advisers yet to receive approval of their renewal remained registered while their application was considered, and that the registration would last for three years from the date the TPB made its decision rather than the date of application.

Taylor said that it may be months before advisers were notified of the outcome of their renewal application as new applicants were prioritised.

“We give new tax practitioner applications a higher priority than renewals, so applicants, once registered, may start providing tax (financial) advice services and commence their businesses.”

Six thousand new advisers utilised the transitional and standard registration options. This kept adviser numbers stable despite 6,000 not renewing their licenses.

Taylor said that most of those who did not renew were no longer representatives of an Australian financial services licence (AFSL) holder. Some also had originally notified to register without needing to, or did not actually provide tax (financial) advice services.

Taylor warned that significant penalties could apply for unregistered entities providing or advertising tax (financial) services or representing themselves as an adviser.

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