Extra requirement for tax agents with 2019 SMSF returns
A new label on the 2019 SMSF annual return requiring tax agents to indicate if Part A of the fund’s audit report was qualified may be a hangover from the three-yearly audit proposal and will hopefully be removed for 2020, says a technical expert.
Speaking to SMSF Adviser, SuperConcepts general manager of technical services and education Peter Burgess said the addition of a new label on the 2019 SMSF annual return means that tax agents will now be required to identify whether Part A of the fund’s audit report has been qualified and to advise the ATO accordingly.
“This has not been a requirement in previous years. Part A qualifications don’t necessarily relate to SIS compliance breaches, so it’s unclear what the ATO intends to do with this information,” Mr Burgess said.
“A Part A qualification can arise, for example, when the auditor takes over the audit of an SMSF and they are unable to confirm the fund’s opening balances because they haven’t been provided with the previous year’s audit report, or the auditor may have concerns about the recoverability or value of a particular asset which is not material in value.”
Mr Burgess said it’s likely the label was added in anticipation of the introduction of three-yearly audits for some SMSFs.
“Under this measure, it appears any SMSF that received a qualified Part A or B audit report would have needed to be audited for that income year and would not be eligible for the proposed three-year audit concession for at least another three years,” Mr Burgess explained.
“Whilst it appears the ATO may have jumped the gun here, they obviously found themselves in a very difficult position. By the time the decision was made not to proceed with the three-yearly audit measure, it was too late to remove this label from the 2019 annual return. Hopefully, it will be removed from the 2020 return.”
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.