TBAR reporting tipped to expose illegal advice
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.