Date posted: 24/01/2018 5 min read

Two Important ATO Releases

As explained in our Super Newsletter the ATO have made two important announcements in relation to SMSFs.

In Brief

  • Lodgement dead-line extended for 2017 financial year SMSF returns
  • SMSF Annual Report 2015/16

1. Lodgement dead-line extended for 2017 financial year SMSF annual returns

This deadline for SARs has been extended to 30 June 2018 that do not have to lodge until 15 May 2018.  In other words about a 6 week extension.

This is a very welcome development.  It is great to see the ATO being proactive and recognising the difficulties tax agents are having in completing annual returns for their SMSF clients.

2. ATO SMSF Annual Report 2015/16

There has been much commentary about this report in various outlets.  But here are a few highlights that seem to have ignored:

  • The ATO altered its data collection process and discovered that most SMSFs being set up have a corporate trustee.  Until this revised data was released the ATO was telling us almost the exact opposite.  The ATO now say that over 56% of SMSFs have corporate trustees
  • The number of SMSF auditors have fallen from 10,000 in 2012 to 5,800 in 2016.  Based on the data supplied by the ATO it would appear that at least half of the auditors that have left the sector were performing less than 5 SMSF audits each year. On the other hand the number of auditors carrying out at least 250 SMSF audits have increased by about 14% over 5 years to about 290.  These auditors complete about 45% of all SMSF audits.
  • More than half of SMSFs have been operating for more than 10 years.
  • For the 2016 financial year, in-house assets was the top contravention reported by auditors closely followed by the separation of assets.
  • However SMSFs overall are close to break-even from contributions, benefit transfers less benefits paid perspective.   Total contributions are $32.2b, net rollovers are $9.7b and benefit payments are $37b.  Many APRA funds – even some large funds by assets under management – are already cashflow negative from this perspective.

Overall it is clear from this report that the SMSF sector is well run.

As we all know accountants, and Chartered Accountants in particular, provide a wide range of valuable services to SMSF trustees to help them run their super fund appropriately and efficiently.

For more information

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