Accountants warned on consequences of delaying budget discussions
While the budget proposals have not yet been legislated, failing to discuss the potential changes with clients could leave accountants at risk of negligent advice, warns a lawyer.
Allens partner Michelle Levy said accountants need to be paying a lot of attention to the proposed changes, particularly where there could be opportunities for clients.
“For example, there may be opportunities for the client to put more into super, for example, before the new caps are introduced,” said Ms Levy.
“So if an accountant failed to tell their client that they had a window in which to do something based on announcements or draft legislation I think there would be a good argument that they were negligent.”
Ms Levy said need to be aware of what’s around the corner or what might be around the corner with the proposed changes for superannuation.
“With the $1.6 million cap on pensions they need to tell their clients that there’s a new proposal out there in the form of draft legislation – so there’s uncertainty there but they still need to let their clients know so that their client can begin to make plans around that,” she said.
Estate planning is another area where accountants may need to start thinking about in terms of options for their clients when the legislation is passed.
“Death benefit pensions will be treated and taxed differently under the new laws so accountants need to be very conscious of those new laws in helping their clients with any kind of estate planning,” said Ms Levy.