Tax Office increases focus on SMSF incapacity issues
As part of its non-lodgement program, the ATO is contacting SMSF trustees in pension phase who have stopped lodging returns in order to help identify any issues with capability or managing responsibility.
ATO assistant commissioner, SMSF segment, Steve Keating said the ATO has been reaching out to older trustees in pension phase who have suddenly stopped lodging returns.
“As part of our non-lodgement program, we tend to cluster our non-lodgers into groups so that we target our messages,” Mr Keating said at the LightYear Docs Virtual Strategy Summit.
“We have been reaching out to them to ask if there are any issues with their capability or if they understand their responsibilities in regard to winding up an SMSF if it’s no longer fit for purpose.”
Mr Keating said the ATO will also be developing communications on the topic of when it’s time to think about winding up an SMSF because it’s no longer appropriate.
“We are updating a suite of publications that follow the lifecycle of an SMSF, so these will soon be available on the ATO website and in print form. The first two publications will be dealing with starting and winding up an SMSF,” he stated.
The ATO is also developing a training program that will have a competency assessment associated with it.
“It’s going to be there to help trustees and anyone who wants to enter the system to understand their obligations. It’s going to be a free course that’s available to everyone,” he said.
“It’s going to be designed around five modules, which are setting up an SMSF, running a fund which covers things like contributions and investments, paying pensions, winding up an SMSF and, importantly, reporting and general compliance obligations.”
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.