SMSF software veteran slams new reporting requirements

BGL managing director Ron Lesh has criticised the events-based reporting requirements as “bureaucracy gone mad” and hit out at accounting bodies for their lack of opposition to the changes.

Speaking to SMSF Adviser, Mr Lesh said the events-based reporting requirements set to commence on 1 July 2018, are incredibly complicated for SMSF practitioners.

Mr Lesh said the reporting requirements will mean SMSF practitioners have to notify the ATO of different events at different times.

“I think it’s ridiculous. [The ATO] is asking [practitioners] to notify them of some events 28 days after the month in which they happened and to notify them of other things 10 days after the end of the month in which they occurred. This is absolute bureaucracy gone mad,” said Mr Lesh.

“They’re [also] asking every single person in Australia to lodge pension information. So if you’ve got a pension where your balance is only $100,000, you’ve still got to lodge pension information with the ATO.”

He has also criticised the accounting bodies and professional associations for failing to lobby against the new requirements.

“I just think what’s being proposed is so complicated and such a ridiculous collection of information,” he said,

“For firms that aren’t automated, it’s going to be nearly impossible for them to meet these requirements. They’re going to have to do the forms manually through the tax agent portal which as we know is unreliable.”

The initial lodgements, Mr Lesh said, will all be through the portal and with the portal so unstable at the moment this will make it extremely difficult for practitioners to notify the ATO.  

Mr Lesh said having a quarterly form that’s lodged every quarter would be a better solution for SMSF firms.

“[In addition], there should only be reporting requirements for pensions that need to be reported, not every single pension in the country,” he said.

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