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ATO outlines compliance approach for next TBAR deadline

Miranda Brownlee
14 January 2019 — 1 minute read

The ATO has assured SMSF professionals and trustees who are struggling to meet the next deadline for transfer balance account reports that it will be taking a supportive approach for events in the December quarter.

In an online update, the ATO reminded SMSF professionals and members that if an SMSF has a member with a total superannuation balance greater than $1 million and one of the members had a transfer balance account event that occurred between 1 October 2018 and 31 December 2018, they will need to report that transfer balance account event to the ATO by 29 January 2019.

In line with the ATO’s valuation guidelines, the tax office stated that if an SMSF has an obligation to report TBAR events quarterly and the member starts an income stream, the SMSF trustee may choose to use a reasonable estimate of the value of that income stream to meet their TBAR obligations.


“We’re taking an educative and supportive approach where TBARs are lodged late,” the ATO said.

“If you’re in this situation and can’t lodge the TBAR by 29 January 2019, but are working towards lodging as soon as possible, you don’t have to seek a formal extension of time.”

The ATO did note, however, that any late lodgement may affect a member’s transfer balance account and there may be reverse workflow for them to take care of.

Speaking at the SMSF Summit last year, Smarter SMSF chief executive Aaron Dunn warned that while the ATO is currently working with the profession to bed down the changes, practitioners should be aware that an attitude shift will occur in the future.

“At some point, the ATO will flick the switch from education to enforcement. We know that is the case — we look at collectibles as an example and the five-year period we had to deal with those sorts of things,” Mr Dunn cautioned.

Many SMSF professionals were still coming up to speed with the events-based reporting regime last year, particularly for the first deadline.

Back in August last year, TriSuper SMSF Auditors director Joel Curry said some accountants weren’t even aware they had to lodge the a TBAR by 30 June that specified the value of the client’s pension balance at 30 June 2017.

Some of the other struggles with the initial reporting and ongoing reporting of TBARs have been around when an event occurs and when it needs to be reported, double reporting errors and where clients have switched SMSF service providers.


Miranda Brownlee

Miranda Brownlee


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.

You can email Miranda on: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

ATO outlines compliance approach for next TBAR deadline
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