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ATO alert system updated

ATO SMSF alert system

The ATO has expanded the alerts it will provide to SMSF trustees when changes take place within their fund.

The ATO has expanded its notification system for SMSFs and will now alert trustees when their fund has requested verification of their SMSF with the intent to roll over money.

The new notification, which became active this month, joins a range of other alerts set up by the ATO in February 2020 and notifies SMSFs of any changes to the fund’s financial institution account details, electronic service address (ESA), and authorised contact or members.

In posting the update on its website, the regulator stated the alert was added to help safeguard retirement savings and reduce the risk of fraud and misconduct.

It added trustees should contact the other trustees of the fund, directors of the corporate trustee or their tax agent if they were unaware of or had not authorised the change, or the ATO if they were concerned about the changes.

In a further update, the ATO also provided details about how SMSFs could be prepared for the rollout of SuperStream for fund contributions and rollovers, which is open for use from 31 March, dependent on when a fund’s ESA provider makes the transition.

It noted that having an ESA linked to an SMSF and providing it to an employer was central to being able to use SuperStream with an SMSF.

“If your SMSF’s ESA is not active, your super contributions may not reach your SMSF and might be redirected to your employer’s default fund. This is because the SMSF messaging provider is not expecting to receive a contribution message for your SMSF, so the contribution message will be rejected,” it explained.

“The employer will receive an error message and is required by law to obtain accurate information for the SMSF,” it said, adding if an SMSF trustee or member failed to pass on that information within 28 days, the employer can reallocate super contributions to their default super fund.

The ATO emphasised from 1 October, funds would have to be ‘SuperStream-ready’ if they wanted to roll over money into or out of an SMSF.

This means each fund would need an ESA that provides rollover SuperStream services, an Australian business number (ABN) – which is used as a fund identifier – and up-to-date details recorded with the ATO, including the SMSF’s unique bank account for superannuation payments.

Any fund without an ESA or ABN after 1 October will not be able to use SuperStream and will be required to use paper release authorities sent by mail.

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