ATO set sights on 27,000 funds in ongoing crackdown
While efforts by tax agents and the ATO has seen a dramatic drop in the number of non-lodgers, 27,000 registered SMSFs that have not lodged since their establishment remain on its radar.
Speaking at the CA ANZ National SMSF Conference ATO deputy commissioner James O’Halloran said the ATO identified 49,000 SMSF non lodgers at July 2018.
Since then, around 22,000 of these funds have either engaged with the ATO and lodged all overdue SMSF annual returns or decided to exit the system and wind up their fund, said Mr O’Halloran.
“No matter how large a compliance issue may be, if the SMSF and their adviser are genuine in wanting to return their SMSF to complying status, if they engage with us we will work with them to try to find a resolution,” he said.
While there has been a significant drop in the non-lodgement rate, the ATO is still monitoring around 27,000 registered SMSFs that have not lodged since their establishment, he said.
This includes some 8,900 funds that registered in the 2016/17 financial year and have not as yet lodged their 2016/17 return.
While this number is improving, we’re concerned that in some cases, this may be an indicator of illegal early release of funds, said Mr O’Halloran,
“So we will continue to look at funds that have not lodged a return since they registered where we can see that at least one of the members has rolled money out of an APRA super fund account,” he said.