Bill passes to allow SMSF auditor fee hikes
Legislation allowing ASIC to set higher fees for SMSF auditors has now passed both houses.
The Superannuation Industry (Supervision) Amendment (ASIC Fees) Bill 2018, which will enable ASIC to charge additional fees in relation to an application to vary or revoke the conditions or cancel the registration of an approved SMSF auditor, has now been passed by the Senate.
Under the new ASIC funding model, ASIC intends to charge auditors $899 when they apply to exit the sector. Currently, there is no fee where an SMSF auditor makes a request for their registration to be cancelled, and there is no fee applied where an auditor is disqualified. In short, it will be less costly for auditors to be forcibly removed than if they elect to leave.
ASIC also intends to increase the SMSF auditor registration fee from $107 for new SMSF auditors up to $1,927.
The proposed hikes in fees for SMSF auditors has received considerable backlash from both SMSF auditors and the wider SMSF industry with BDO audit partner Shirley Schaefer labeling the fee hike as a “cash grab”.
IPA chief executive Andrew Conway said not only is ASIC overcharging, but the government is double-dipping.
“The ATO currently already collects $259 from each SMSF to finance the SMSF monitoring role the ATO conducts on behalf of ASIC. While this levy was a mere $45 in 2008 it now equates to approximately $142.5 million to monitor the sector including SMSF auditors,” said Mr Conway.