ATO urges trustees to consider SMSF ‘risk’

The ATO has issued a statement to trustees urging them to consider the responsibility and “risk” of an SMSF.

Late last week, the ATO outlined key areas of running a self-managed fund that prospective trustees should consider, including the risks and laws associated with SMSFs.

“All financial decisions carry risk, so it’s important to think carefully about your investment options to balance the level of risk against the level of financial return. You also need to be sure your super investments are legal,” the ATO stated.

“Super funds, including SMSFs, receive significant tax concessions as an incentive for members to save for their retirement. However, you need to follow the tax and super laws to receive these concessions.

“If you decide to set up an SMSF, you’re legally responsible for all the decisions made, even if you get professional advice.”

The ATO also said trustees should consider seeking professional advice before deciding whether to manage their own super.

“Deciding which way to go is an important decision and the best approach for you depends on your personal situation, so we recommend you see a qualified, licensed professional to help you decide,” the ATO stated.

“Licensed financial advisers, tax agents and accountants can help you understand what's involved and advise on your investment options.”

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