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Tax agent appointment useful for late-lodging SMSFs

Sarah Kendell
09 October 2019 — 1 minute read

SMSFs that may be in danger of falling foul of the ATO’s new late lodgement rules for annual returns, and do not currently use a tax agent, may wish to consider appointing one before their return falls due at the end of October, according to Super Central.

A statement released by the law firm on Wednesday pointed out that while the lodgement date for SMSFs without a tax agent was fast approaching, by appointing a tax agent ahead of the 31 October due date, SMSFs could buy some time on the lodgement of their 2019 annual return.

“Generally, for SMSFs which have not appointed a tax agent, the due date for lodgement for the financial year ended 30 June 2019 is 31 October 2019,” the law firm said.

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“If the 31 October 2019 deadline cannot be met, the SMSF should consider appointing a tax agent before 31 October 2019 so that the lodgement of the return will be determined by the agent’s lodgement schedule.

“Generally, this means returns for the year ended 30 June 2019 will be required to be lodged by 28 February 2020 if the SMSF was established during the year ended 30 June 2019, or by 31 March 2020 if the fund’s income is $2 million or more, or by 31 March 2020 if the fund’s total income is less than $2 million.”

If the SMSF did not wish to appoint a tax agent and was not likely to meet the deadline for lodgement of its annual return, the trustee should apply for a lodgement deferral with the ATO, the law firm said.

However, it was best to ensure returns were lodged by the due date if at all possible, given that SMSFs would have limited options available to them to redress the situation if their details were taken off Super Fund Lookup (SFLU).

“Inclusion of the SMSF’s details in the SFLU website is not a statutory right of the SMSF or trustees, and as the operation of the website is not mandated by legislation, there will be no rights of appeal to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal or right of review under the Administrative Decisions (Judicial Review) Act 1977,” Super Central stated.

“A complaint to the Taxation Ombudsman... may not be effective, as there is no statutory right to be listed on the website and, in any event, the Ombudsman may view the delisting of late-lodging SMSFs to be a reasonable and non-punitive means of ensuring SMSFs perform their statutory obligation to lodge returns by the due date.”

However, if an SMSF rectified any overdue returns they had outstanding and the fund’s details were not re-added onto the SFLU system, they may then have grounds for a Taxation Ombudsman complaint, the law firm said.

Tax agent appointment useful for late-lodging SMSFs
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