AUSTRAC has decided not to proceed with changes to the anti-money laundering rules for SMSFs, after a review concluded appropriate provisions are already in place.
For trusts with an individual who is a trustee, the rules' reporting and identification requirements can typically be onerous.
However, certain types of trust are eligible for a simplified trustee verification procedure, including SMSFs.
In 2011, draft amendments to the anti-money laundering rules for SMSFs were published in light of criminal abuse of SMSFs, including the falsifying of member details and the creation of falsified funds, AMP SMSF’s Peter Burgess told SMSF Adviser.
The proposed amendments were going to deny SMSFs access to that simplified approach, he said.
However, after consultation with the industry, and as a result of other changes made to the customer due diligence requirements, for example, the rules have “effectively been tightened anyhow”, Mr Burgess said.
AUSTRAC concluded it was no longer necessary to make the other changes proposed in 2011.
“I think that’s a sensible approach when you also consider that since those draft amendments were issued, we’ve now got the member verification service in place, so APRA funds are able to verify the existence of a member, and we’re moving along to bank account certification. We’re not there yet, but we’re heading in that direction,” Mr Burgess said.
“Given that things have moved on since these draft amendments were issued, the conclusion of the review is quite a sensible conclusion."
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