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ATO prompts on record-keeping, returns

ATO record returns

The ATO has reminded trustees that good record-keeping and the on-time lodgement of SMSF annual returns are legal requirements.

The ATO has reminded SMSF trustees of the need to maintain good records for their fund and also to ensure SMSF annual returns (SAR) are lodged by the end of February.

In updates published on its website, the SMSF regulator pointed out that keeping and maintaining good records was a responsibility and legal requirement of fund trustees.

“When you keep good records, you’re not just complying with super laws, you’re making it easier for yourself to administer and manage your super,” it stated.

“Good record-keeping helps you when you’re getting ready to lodge your SAR and other SMSF reports. It also helps ensure your fund’s accounts and audit are completed in a timely manner.

“Even if you use a super or tax professional to administer your SMSF, each trustee is responsible for good record-keeping. This means each trustee could be fined if the appointed auditor tells us you haven’t been keeping proper records.”

It added trustees who were unsure of their record-keeping requirements could access information from the regulator or take an ATO-approved education course to improve their understanding.

The regulator also reminded SMSF trustees that if they were not a first-time lodger and they lodged their SAR without using a tax agent, the return was due on 28 February, with the same date applying for first-year lodgers who did use a tax agent to prepare their SAR.

“All operational funds need to lodge a SAR, even if you’ve been operational for just part of the financial year,” it said.

“If you have super rolled over from an APRA (Australian Prudential Regulation Authority)-regulated account, your fund is operational.

“Lodging your SAR on time is an obligation for all SMSF trustees.”

The ATO has been concerned about on-time lodgement for a number of years and has flagged the imposition of fines for funds that fail to lodge their SAR or do so well after its due date.

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