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ATO fixes error in SMSF alert system

ATO SMSF alert

The electronic service address error that resulted in the ATO sending out alert notifications to SMSF trustees in error has been fixed.

The ATO has fixed a recent electronic service address (ESA) error that resulted in alert notifications being sent to some SMSF trustees incorrectly.

The regulator said it had been looking into the matter, which SMSF practitioners pointed out had resulted in some users of SMSF administrator Class’s software receiving a direct trustee alert from the ATO in error, and late on 17 February stated via its website the issue had been fixed.

In its latest announcement regarding the error, the ATO stated, “text and email alerts relating to ESA were previously sent incorrectly to a small number of SMSF trustees” but the issue had been resolved, adding “the ‘Invalid ESA’ message that was displayed in Online services for agents has now also been fixed”.

Commenting prior to the announcement of the repair, the ATO spokesperson said there was no impact on SMSF account balances or fund details as a result of the error with the updated announcement adding “SMSF trustees and their representatives can be assured that any alerts or messages received are being correctly issued”.

While addressing the problem the regulator had taken steps to stop new SMSF SMS alerts being sent and had identified the reason for the incorrect alerts.

Class chief operation officer Panos Alexandratos said the firm had been aware of the issue and had worked with the ATO to assist them to rectify the problem.

The ATO first indicated in October 2019 that it would begin issuing direct alerts to trustees from 30 November 2019 in an effort to reduce the risk of fraud, however, the start of the alert system was delayed during final testing after an issue was detected which may have lead to some alerts not issuing as designed.

Consequently the regulator moved the start date to February from which time it intended to notify trustees via email and/or text message when changes are made to their SMSF. This includes changes to a fund’s financial account details, ESA, authorised contacts and members.

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