Property 101: ASIC update for SMSF accountants

Property 101: ASIC update for SMSF accountants
Property 101: ASIC update for SMSF accountants

ASIC has issued an information sheet for accountants who provide services in relation to self-managed superannuation funds (SMSFs).

Information Sheet 216 AFS licensing requirements for accountants who provide SMSF services (INFO 216) covers how the Australian Financial Services (AFS) licensing regime applies to SMSF services provided by accountants. It sets out the various SMSF services an accountant might provide and whether a licensing exemption applies to them or whether an accountant must be covered by an AFS licence for those services.

Peter Kell. ASIC deputy chairman said ASICs primary role in relation to SMSFs is to regulate the gatekeepers – the accountants, financial advisers and SMSF auditors. 

"We think that accountants and financial advisers have a critically important role to ensure that only those investors for whom an SMSF is suitable go into the SMSF sector and, in doing so are fully informed," he said.

The exemption which allowed recognised accountants to give financial advice about acquiring or disposing of an interest in an SMSF was repealed on 1 July 2016 and accountants need to be clear about which services must be covered by a licence and which remain exempt. INFO 216 will assist accountants in understanding which services do and not require them to be covered by an AFS licence.

ASIC has also modified Corporations Regulation 7.1.29(4)(c)(ii) to ensure that accountants can continue to provide taxation advice on financial products not covered by their licence in ASIC Corporations (Recognised Accountants: Exempt Services) Instrument 2016/1151. 

The Instrument modifies reg 7.1.29(4)(c)(ii) so that a limited AFS licensee can rely on the exemption to provide tax advice to a retail client on a financial product which is not covered by an authorisation in their licence. 

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Smsfs Asic

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