Industry calls for cut to SMSF Supervision Levy
The SMSF industry has called for a reduction in the SMSF Supervision Levy in the upcoming Budget, claiming the government has failed to implement many of the measures used to justify its increase in 2012.
Speaking to SMSF Adviser, The SMSF Academy's Aaron Dunn said when it was announced the levy would be increased from $191 to $259 as part of the Labor government's 2012/13 Mid-Year Economic & Fiscal Outlook, it was justified on the basis that a range of proposed measures would be implemented.
Given the Liberal government’s decision not to proceed with eight or nine of the measures, Mr Dunn said there was an expectation leading up the Budget last year that there may be discussion of a reduction to the levy.
Part of the government’s commitment in increasing the levy, Mr Dunn said, was to provide transparency around what the costs of regulating the SMSF sector are and to position the levy based on that cost.
“We still have no idea what that is and I think we’ve got every right to start asking and demanding what that amount actually is,” he said.
“We really need to ask the questions here because if we don’t, then why are we paying a levy that’s dramatically increased without any real justification and off the back of a range of measures that never saw the light of day anyway.”
Mr Dunn said that depending on the types of surveillance being undertaken by the government, the cost of regulating the SMSF sector could potentially be nowhere near what the government is currently collecting from SMSF trustees through the levy.
“SMSF trustees could be paying a hell of a lot more than what they should be in terms of their share of regulation of the superannuation sector,” he said.
Taxpayers Australia's superannuation products and services manager, Reece Agland, agreed that the SMSF Supervision Levy should be reduced, given the government’s failure to implement the proposed measures.
“If you’re not going to use it for those purposes then you can’t just put it into general revenue,’ said Mr Agland.
“The whole rationale for it is gone so there really isn’t the need for it.”
Miranda Brownlee is the deputy editor of SMSF Adviser, which is the leading source of news, strategy and educational content for professionals working in the SMSF sector.
Since joining the team in 2014, Miranda has been responsible for breaking some of the biggest superannuation stories in Australia, and has reported extensively on technical strategy and legislative updates. Miranda has also directed SMSF Adviser's print publication for several years.
Miranda also has broad business and financial services reporting experience, having written for titles including Investor Daily, ifa and Accountants Daily.