The limits of SMSF advice
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This paper examine what advice self-managed superannuation fund (SMSF) advisers can and cannot provide without 'stepping over the line' especially in providing taxation, financial product, or legal advice which they may not be permitted to provide.

For example, an adviser providing legal advice or services (for instance, preparing an SMSF deed update, binding death benefit nomination (BDBN) or deed of change of trustee) exposes themselves and their firm to significant risk and legal claims especially if their professional indemnity (PI) insurance does not cover such activity. Moreover, an adviser providing financial product or tax advice can similarly be subject to significant liability and penalties.

This paper also provides some guidance on practical solutions to minimise risk and adopt best practice.

Can an adviser provide advice on SIS Act and superannuation law matters?

It may appear surprising to many SMSF advisers that unless they are a qualified and registered lawyer that they are generally prohibited on advising on superannuation law matters that impacts a person's rights and obligations (as this constitutes a legal service), unless they are a registered lawyer who is authorised to provide legal advice for a fee.

Thus, are there any relevant carve outs or exceptions under the law for advisers to provide Superannuation Industry (Supervision) Act 1993 (SIS Act) advice?

Possible carve out for advisers providing advice on Commonwealth taxation law

There may be a potential argument for advisers providing advice on Commonwealth 'taxation law' (as defined below) who are a registered tax practitioner with the Tax Practitioners Board (TPB) who may be able to rely on the 'carve out' under the Tax Agents Services Act 2009 (TASA).

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