ATO includes SMSFs in new corporate plan

The ATO has released its corporate plan for 2014-2018, providing insights into the regulator’s approach for the SMSF sector, including a focus on improving trustee knowledge.

The report notes that over the planning period, the ATO will be looking to greater provision of online services by adopting new technology.

“The compliance of SMSFs with their regulatory and income tax obligations is a significant element in the integrity of the superannuation system,” the corporate plan said.

“Over the planning period, we will be expanding our suite of online tools and adopting new technology, including mobile device apps, to assist trustees and approved SMSF auditors.”

The tax office noted it would be using technology to improve trustee knowledge through the “provision of web materials, publications and tools, such as the new SMSF videos and webinars”.

The ATO also mentioned an SMSF compliance program to “review both contraventions reported by approved SMSF auditors and risks identified through data holdings”.

The SMSF Academy’s Aaron Dunn said the corporate plan highlights the importance of technology in the ATO’s future approach.

“It is apparent that transformational change is upon the Australian Taxation Office, with technology playing a vital role in the future direction to automate and lift engagement with taxpayers and professionals,” Mr Dunn said.

“The current Commissioner appears committed to a sizeable cultural shift with the ATO and a low-touch approach for most taxpayers.”

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