SMSF Adviser previously reported the non-lodgement of SMSF annual returns had become a major concern for the ATO in the post reform environment with around 40,000 funds now at risk of being made non-complaint.
Speaking at the SMSF Summit in Sydney, ATO assistant commissioner Kasey Macfarlane said the non-lodgement of an SMSF annual return was a significant issue as it means the ATO has no visibility about as to whether or not SMSF trustees are complying and appropriately managing their regulatory and taxation obligations.
“[It] also poses a threat to the overall integrity of the SMSF sector. For that reason we will be focusing very closely over the next 12 months on those SMSFs that have outstanding SMSF annual return lodgements,” said Ms Macfarlane.
“We will be adopting a targeted and tailored approach with a view to either having SMSFs bring their lodgements up to date or exit the system.”
The ATO, she said, will also be contacting practitioners who have a large number of SMSF clients with outstanding annual return lodgements.
“Shortly we'll be making contact with approximately 70 advisors who have 10 or more SMSF clients with multiple years of outstanding SMSF annual returns,” she said.
“Our first response will be to work with SMSF trustees and their advisers to support them to bring their lodgements up to date, but in those small number of cases where SMSF trustees simply won't engage with us or work with us to resolve the issue of outstanding lodgements, we will be moving to issue notices asking them to show cause as to why we shouldn't make their fund non-complying.”