The Financial Planning Association (FPA) told the Productivity Commission its current review into the financial system is an opportunity improve Australians’ access to financial planners by reducing cost barriers by way of tax deduction.
Currently, accountants' and lawyers' advice can be a tax deduction.
The FPA argues the cost of accessing a planner is an unfair barrier to seeking financial advice for consumers.
“Research commissioned by the FPA has found that 30 per cent of those who have not used financial advice and do not intend to seek advice in future have stated that the high cost of advice is a key reason for why they have not sought the advice,” the FPA said.
“Public policy initiatives to improve access to affordable advice for all Australians, particularly those most in need of assistance in managing their finances, will reduce the cost of advice for consumers while maintaining consumer protections and advice quality,” the FPA said.
In its submission, the FPA also argued financial planners meet similar regulatory and compliance requirements as tax and BAS agents, given their compulsory registration with the Tax Practitioners Board since 2014 and subsequent compliance with the Tax Agent Services Act (TASA) code.
“Therefore, there should be symmetry in the benefits extended to clients of both the accounting and financial planning professions,” the FPA said.
The FPA also argues planners are now operating on a similar commercial playing field to accountants, following the 2013 Future of Financial Advice (FOFA) reforms which saw commissions banned on financial advice.