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TBAR reporting tipped to expose illegal advice

Miranda Brownlee
23 August 2017 — 1 minute read

Accountants have been warned that transfer balance account reporting (TBAR) could be used by ASIC as another way of identifying unlicensed advice.

BDO’s national leader for superannuation Shirley Schaefer said it’s no secret that the ATO and ASIC share data, so event-based reporting will provide ASIC with another source of information to identify advice provided by unlicensed accountants.

“If ASIC are able to get hold of the information around pension commutations then they’ll be able to find who the [individual’s] tax agent is and determine whether they’ve provided advice to commute an amount from a pension,” Ms Schaefer warned. 


“You can’t get that information from the tax returns that are lodged, but I imagine by matching the TBAR reporting that is done with a specific tax return, you would be able to get that information.”

While a tax return shows the total value for a member, it doesn’t show the split between pension and accumulation, but the TBAR reporting does show the pension, she said.

“I suppose if [ASIC] looked at the tax return and if there was more than $1.6 million and it was in pension phase, that’d still give [them] a data set to go back and check if [advice had been given],” she noted.

Ms Schaefer said any action by ASIC in this area will depend on how quickly accounting firms decide to commence with events-based reporting.

Miranda Brownlee

Miranda Brownlee


Miranda Brownlee is the deputy editor of SMSF Adviser, which is the leading source of news, strategy and educational content for professionals working in the SMSF sector.

Since joining the team in 2014, Miranda has been responsible for breaking some of the biggest superannuation stories in Australia, and has reported extensively on technical strategy and legislative updates. Miranda has also directed SMSF Adviser's print publication for several years. 

Miranda also has broad business and financial services reporting experience, having written for titles including Investor Daily, ifa and Accountants Daily.

You can email Miranda on: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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