Comment on ASIC media release Amendments to ASIC Corporations (Recognised Accountants: Exempt Services) Instrument 2016/1151

Prepared by Peter Hagias

ASIC has amended Class Order 2016/1151 so that full licensees can benefit from the exemption to providing tax advice on financial products which was originally just provided for the benefit of limited licensees. The amendment allows full licensees (as well as limited) to be able to advise on the tax implications of financial products not covered by their AFSL even where the advice amounts to financial product advice (i.e. sell this financial product to offset the gain against a loss incurred elsewhere). Note that the exemption will only be available where a written warning is provided and the adviser does not receive any benefit or remuneration from the advice (other than the fee paid by the client). That means that the receipt of product commissions and other benefits linked to the products sold or acquired will prohibit an adviser from relying on the exemption. This could be an issue for licensees, particularly full licensees and so a consideration of their remuneration structure should be undertaken before relying on this exemption.