ATO pencils 2022 income year as start date for SAR change
The ATO has announced that it will aim to include an additional reporting requirement for monitoring auditor independence as part of the SMSF annual return for the 2022 income year.
In September, the ATO outlined plans to change the SMSF annual return so that it also captures the details of the professional preparing the accounts for the fund.
Speaking in a recent Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand video, ATO director Kellie Grant explained that due to the design of the SMSF annual return at the moment, it is difficult for the ATO to determine who prepared the accounts.
“The auditor is reported and the tax agent is reported, but even if the auditor is working at the same firm as the tax agent, it doesn’t necessarily mean that the accounts were prepared by that particular firm. They might have been outsourced to an administration firm [for example],” Ms Grant said.
By capturing the details of the professional preparing the accounts, this will enable to ATO better determine what firms are conducting in-house audits and monitor compliance with the restructured code and APESB independence guide, she said.
“We did try to actually change the label for the 2021 return so that we could start capturing information about who is preparing the fund’s accounts, but we just didn’t get that through in time, so we will try for the next financial year,” she said in the video.
The ATO has previously established that while it will undertake a transitional approach in relation to the auditor independence standards for the 2020–21 income year, audits completed after 1 July 2021 will need to comply.
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.