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John Maroney
ATO access could slash adviser admin time

ATO access could slash adviser admin time

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By Sarah Kendell ·
February 04 2021
John Maroney

ATO access could slash adviser admin time

A number of industry bodies have argued financial planners should be given access to their clients' ATO information in order to streamline the advice process.

ATO access could slash adviser admin time
John Maroney
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The SMSF Association raised the issue in its pre-budget submission to Treasury, saying the restriction of the portal to accountants only was inefficient and a big stumbling block in allowing advisers to give the correct guidance to clients around management of their super.

“In essence, there is a fundamental lack of information for advisers who need to provide timely advice based on a myriad of complex caps, thresholds and balances,” the association’s chief executive John Maroney said.

“Accountants can obtain information but cannot provide advice, and financial advisers are unable to obtain information but can provide advice. This jeopardises the quality and efficiency of advice being provided to [fund] members.”

The association said allowing advisers access to their clients’ up-to-date ATO information was key to helping consumers adequately navigate the complex requirements of the super system.

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The FPA also mentioned in its submission to ASIC’s affordable advice consultation that its members had called for access to the ATO portal as part of a drive to cut the rapidly rising admin hours of most practices.

“FPA members have consistently highlighted the need to streamline the administration that is necessary to operate as a financial planner as this has the potential to significantly affect the cost of delivering financial advice to a client,” the association said.

“There is a significant concern among members that we reduce the administrative burden on financial planners so they can spend more of their time focused on assisting their clients.”

The FPA recommended to ASIC that it work with the ATO to improve its online access arrangements, saying planners needed “to access the ATO portal to properly and efficiently serve their clients”.

Given tax financial advisers currently fell under the TPB’s regulatory regime, the submission suggested it was a point of confusion that they were not able to access the ATO system.

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