ATO locks in details, addresses panic on real-time reporting
The tax office has addressed several points of confusion with the new events-based reporting regime, locked in key deadlines, and outlined what will be included in a new position paper set to be released shortly for the SMSF community.
From 1 July 2018, SMSFs will be required to report those events which impact on a member’s transfer balance account on an events basis. For those who want to get on board early, SMSFs can voluntarily begin reporting from October this year, which is when APRA funds will start.
Speaking to SMSF Adviser to address some concerns about the breadth of the new regime, ATO assistant commissioner Kasey Macfarlane emphasised the events that are required to be reported on a more regular basis are confined to transfer balance cap events.
“SMSFs won’t be required to report investment earnings, investment gains, investment losses on a more regular basis. They won’t be required to report members’ account balance information on a more regular basis. And they won’t be required to report contribution or pension payments on a more regular basis under this model,” she said.
The more common items that will need to be reported include the dates and value of any pension that an SMSF member is entitled to or commences, the date of any commutation of one of those pensions, and any structured settlement payment that an SMSF member receives and contributes to their fund.
Further, LRBA payments that give rise to a transfer balance credit will need to be reported, following a bill that was introduced in June.
“Importantly SMSFs, only have to report something if there is an event that impacts on one of their member’s transfer balance. An SMSF with relatively straightforward events may only have one or two events per member to report over the life of the fund,” said Ms Macfarlane.
Further, and as foreshadowed by SMSF Adviser last week, the ATO will be releasing a position paper shortly which will look at adjusting the time frames for events-based reporting.
One of the options is that from 1 July 2018, SMSFs would only be required to report transfer balance cap events quarterly, with a view to have a generous transitional period — possibly two years — before moving to monthly reporting.
“The feedback has been that there are different reporting periods for different events, which may make the reporting requirements less clear, and make people less likely to report these events appropriately,” she said.