The ATO will create and publish a register of disqualified SMSF trustees by the end of the current financial year, making currently available information more accessible to advisers and accountants.
ATO SMSF segment assistant commissioner Dana Fleming, who announced the launch of the register during her presentation at the SMSF Association National Conference 2019 in Melbourne recently, said it would be published on the ATO website and would collate already-released banning notices.
“The information in the register is all already publicly available through gazettal notices, but we want to make this information more readily accessible. Allowing advisers and others to easily search for disqualified trustees is just another way that we can work with our industry partners to help protect the integrity of the SMSF sector,” Fleming said.
During the presentation, she told conference attendees that during 2017/18, the ATO disqualified 257 individuals who were trustees of 169 funds, and by 31 January 2019 a further 75 individuals of 53 funds had been disqualified so far in the 2019 financial year.
According to Fleming, illegal early release of funds and loans to members were the main reasons for disqualification, with other reasons including unrectified contraventions reported through auditor contravention reports, taking part in tax planning arrangements such as dividend stripping, and non-lodgement of the SMSF annual return.