The new regime will come into effect on July 1 this year, with penalties of up to $10,200 available to the ATO.
Speaking at a Super Central seminar yesterday, Townsends Business & Corporate Lawyers’ special counsel for superannuation and estate planning Brian Hor said it will be at the discretion of the ATO whether to downplay a penalty.
“If you received an administrative penalty you could beg for mercy and the tax office do have discretion… to potentially reduce or remit that penalty, if you come up with a good story,” he said.
“[Also,] if you received or inclined to receive a rectification direction or an education direction you can ask the tax office to vary it - so for example, [if] you want an extension of time.”
According to Townsends Business & Corporate Lawyers’ principal Peter Townsend, clients may look to their advisers if they receive smaller contraventions as a result of an administration error.
“[If] you’re the one that is administrating the fund, the client of course can say, ‘I know nothing about super. You put me into this, you fix it’,” he said.
“The $10,000 [penalty] is a bigger one and almost certainly [trustees] will have had some involvement in those, but the smaller ones are very likely to be administrative errors and [it is] very likely [clients] are going to turn to you for the compensation,” he added.