The activities that accountants without an AFSL provide to self-managed super funds (SMSFs) have been clarified by a recent Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC) guidance note.

 If you provide assistance to an SMSF and you do not have an Australian Financial Services licence (AFSL), you may still be able to provide the following services:

  •  advice on establishing, operating, structuring or valuing an SMSF, including:

o   advice regarding compliance with the superannuation legislation; and
o   advice on the process of winding up or exiting an SMSF;

  • recommendations or statements of opinion regarding how a client should distribute their available funds among different categories of investments;

  • arm’s length tax advice on financial products, such as an interest in an SMSF and underlying investments held by the SMSF;

  • if you are a registered tax agent or BAS agent, advice provided in the ordinary course of/ is reasonably regarded as a necessary part of those activities; or

  • refer clients to an AFS licensee or representative for financial product advice.

The guidance emphasises that the appropriate warnings and disclosures should at all times be provided; and notes that a service provider without an ASFL may not recommend a client acquire or dispose of an interest in an SMSF; or advise a client to make particular investments through the SMSF.

 For more information regarding ASFL licensing and SMSF management or for general commercial and financial law advice please contact:

Paul Gray
Principal Lawyer
T  03 5225 5231

This article was written with the assistance of Graduate Lawyer, Alex Gulli