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.”