ATO penalties could raise millions

The ATO’s new penalty powers will potentially rake in millions of dollars from the SMSF sector, according to Townsends Business & Corporate Lawyers.

In a statement released last week, Townsends said an expected minimum of $150 million in fines will be collected from the SMSF sector following the new penalty powers coming into effect on July 1 this year.

“It would seem that the SMSF sector is certainly doing its bit for the new government’s fiscal responsibility measures,” Towsends said.

The proposed ATO fines range from $850 for “simple” breaches to upwards of $10,000 for breaches such as providing financial assistance to members and their relatives.

Townsends added that it is critical that trustees ensure they are aware of their responsibilities and rectify any breaches immediately to avoid penalty notices.

“Trustees should start considering now whether there are any current breaches that need to be addressed in the lead-up to end of financial year to avoid a nasty fine being imposed,” Townsends stated.

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