ATO poised to ramp up focus on key compliance area
With 8 per cent of funds failing to meet their lodgement obligations for the last two years at least, the ATO is set to up its compliance focus on non-lodgement in FY2018-19.
Approximately 46,000 funds have failed to meet their reporting obligations for two or more years.
Following contact from the tax office, a small percentage of funds have taken action to bring their reporting and lodgements up-to-date.
With those funds that are unresponsive, the ATO’s actions include facilitating their exit from the sector.
“The failure of SMSFs to lodge annual returns concerns us because there is not visibility or transparency about whether or not relevant SMSFs have satisfied their regulatory and income tax obligation,” an ATO spokesperson told SMSF Adviser.
“This means that individual members’ retirement savings may be at risk due to regulatory irregularities, and moreover the ATO is also not able to fulfil the regulatory role it is statutorily commissioned to do in relation to those funds,” the spokesperson said.
“We will be further heightening our focus on SMSF annual return non-lodgement in 2017-18. SMSF trustees and professionals aware of funds with outstanding annual return lodgements are strongly encouraged to engage with us and work with us to bring outstanding lodgements up to date.
“Those SMSFs who do not take steps to bring their lodgements up-to-date may face the possibility of disqualification of trustees and/or the fund being made non-complying.”