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Nearly a quarter of SMSFs yet to lodge return

Miranda Brownlee
16 July 2020 — 1 minute read

New lodgement figures from the ATO indicate that nearly 450,000 SMSFs have lodged their 2018–19 SMSF annual return, with close to a quarter still yet to lodge.

With the 30 June lodgement deadline now passed, the ATO has reported that nearly 450,000 SMSFs have lodged their SMSF annual return for the 2018–19 financial year.

This represents around 77 per cent of the total 583,857 SMSFs that existed at June 2019. 


ATO assistant commissioner, SMSF segment, Steve Keating said while SMSF trustees may be a little distracted by COVID, it is important they get their affairs in order and lodge as soon as possible so that the ATO doesn’t need to follow up with stronger outcomes. 

“We consider lodgement to be the most fundamental obligation for a trustee. Our process is that when an SMSF is more than two weeks overdue on their annual return, the funds status will be changed to regulation details removed, and that status will remain until the lodgement is brought up to date,” he explained in a discussion with the SMSF Association. 

“What were really concerned about here is the connection between lodgement and disengagement. What I mean by disengagement is that the trustees havent tried to contact us to explain why they havent lodged or requested a deferral.”

Where trustees are unable to meet their lodgement deadline, Mr Keating said they should seek a deferral to lodge.

“If they do that, their status will remain as long as they lodge by that negotiated new due date,” he said. 

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.

Nearly a quarter of SMSFs yet to lodge return
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