ATO extends crucial deadline for SMSFs

In response to industry feedback, the ATO has this morning confirmed it will extend the due date for lodgement of SMSF annual returns for 2015-16.

The deadline has been extended to 30 June 2017, as the SMSF professional community, in part, struggles to get their clients compliant with the superannuation reforms that take effect from 1 July this year.

Deputy Commissioner James O’Halloran said the ATO made this decision as a result of feedback received from professional and industry representatives.

“We have heard that many accounting and advisory firms are stretched to meet their usual annual SMSF lodgement commitments, in addition to providing advice to their clients about the superannuation changes taking effect on 1 July,” Mr O’Halloran said.

“Accountants, tax agents and SMSF advisers play a key role in ensuring that their SMSF clients are ready for the changes on 1 July. They will ensure their clients are in the best position to make informed decisions about their superannuation savings in light of the changes.

“The ATO has taken this step to reduce some of the burden of compliance work so that accountants, tax agents and SMSF advisers can focus on providing appropriate advisory services to their SMSF clients ahead of the changes.”

Hayes Knight director and chair of Knowledge Shop, Greg Hayes, said getting clients on track for the new superannuation reforms has been one of the headline challenges of the last six months.

There’s been a notable spike in inquiries relating to superannuation reform, Mr Hayes recently told SMSF Adviser, with particular sore spots being in relation to capital gains tax, transition to retirement and contributions.

“This is traditionally quite a busy period. Leaving it too late to have these conversations certainly is a risk position. We are encouraging accountants to get on the front foot. Get clients thinking about it so they are making informed decisions, not rushed decisions,” Mr Hayes said.

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