ATO mulls further transitions for new reporting
With the ATO considering a further transition for events-based reporting for SMSF members with lower balances, one technical expert has expressed concerns that this may result in greater complexity.
SuperConcepts general manager of technical services and education Peter Burgess has said that the ATO is giving consideration to a further transition for some clients for events-based reporting, where their balance is well below $1.6 million.
Based on a speech by ATO assistant commissioner Kasey Macfarlane at the Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand conference, Mr Burgess said this is something the ATO is currently thinking about and will be making some announcements over the next few weeks.
“What I think [they mean], is that if you’ve got less than $1 million, for example, then you won’t have to report as frequently, or you won’t have to report by the same time frames,” said Mr Burgess.
“Now I can understand why they'd doing that but I’d just be concerned that's introducing some complexity. Whenever you bring in a balance threshold, like this, it typically adds to complexity.”
In a recent submission to the ATO’s position paper on events-based reporting, the SMSF Association made a similar proposal, suggesting that members with total superannuation balances below $1 million should be carved out of reporting until 1 July 2020.
The SMSF Association said this would have the “added benefits of reducing the compliance strain on SMSF trustees and advisers in the immediate future and also reduce any revenue leakage from SMSFs”.
SMSF software provider BGL has also been critical of the requirement for lower balance super funds to comply with events-based reporting.
“[The ATO] is 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,” said BGL managing director Ron Lesh.
“Really this is just overkill – big brother really does seem to have gone mad.”
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.