The regulator is worried that the popularity of SMSFs will attract investors who are not fully aware of their obligations as a trustee and who are “getting into it for the wrong reasons”.
“What we don’t want to see is a significant section of the overall SMSF population not knowing what they’re doing,” said ASIC deputy chair Peter Kell at an SMSF Association NSW state chapter event this week.
“It’s a natural outcome of the success of the sector. Money attracts some of the shonks, the spruikers and the poor advisers. I think all of us have a responsibility to make sure that sort of activity is marginal at best,” he said.
“We were talking recently at ASIC about the fact that just about wherever we see money lost through an investment these days, there will be SMSF money lost. That’s not because SMSFs are a major problem, but because they’re mainstream,” he added.
Kasey Macfarlane, the ATO's acting assistant commissioner, superannuation, also reinforced the ATO’s concerns for those using SMSFs as tax minimisation and avoidance vehicles.
“We will be taking a very sort of strong line with people who are inappropriately trying to use their SMSF in complex structures to try and avoid tax,” Ms Macfarlane said.