PwC casts serious doubt over ATO’s records
Big four firm PwC has called into question the accuracy of the ATO’s data, as SMSF practitioners gear up to assess their clients’ contributions history before the proposed bill for the lifetime cap on non-concessional contributions is introduced to parliament.
At a SuperCentral breakfast event, PwC director of private clients, Liz Westover advised SMSF practitioners to compare ATO records against the information they have on file about their clients.
“I’m not convinced that the records the Tax Office have are necessarily accurate. Now, I say that in good faith because in prior years I know there were situations where there was misreporting going on,” Ms Westover said.
“I’ve dealt with the Tax Office on misreporting issues where people were impacted by excess contribution taxation issues. If those ECT assessments hadn’t arisen, no one would have been aware of the misreporting going on.”
Mr Westover said while it probably didn’t matter as much in previous years, this information is now vital in light of the government’s proposed measures.
“Get the information from the Tax Office by all means, but compare it to your own records and get in touch with the Tax Office if you think there is a discrepancy between those contribution amounts.”
Ms Westover said she expects to see draft legislation in coming weeks, adding that most of it will likely be passed.
“In actual fact, I’m surprised we don’t have some of it already, but it’s impeding,” she said.
She also warned accountants not to assume that any plans they have on foot with clients will remain compliant or appropriate.
“You need to go back and look at every arrangement and every client and look at new opportunities, and revisit what you already had in place for these guys. How these budget changes are going to impact on that?”
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.