The ATO has granted temporary limited relief for SMSFs from having to comply with SuperStream rollover standards after recognising there are difficulties in funds obtaining an electronic service address (ESA) required for the process.
The regulator announced the relief measures on its website, stating it was aware some SMSF trustees were having difficulties in obtaining an ESA from an SMSF messaging provider.
A list of messaging providers on the ATO’s website shows there are currently only 15 providers that offer a rollover-enabled ESA, including three large SMSF software firms and three providers restricted to providing ESAs only to existing SMSF clients.
The ATO stated SMSFs that have attempted to obtain an ESA but were unable to do so could contact it and if the ATO found the fund’s messaging provider did not provide rollover services, a fund could request to undertake the process outside SuperStream.
“We will confirm over the phone that you can use the paper process used for rollovers prior to 1 October 2021 and make a record of the approval,” it stated in the update.
“You should let your SMSF auditor know you obtained our approval to make a rollover using the paper process and provide them with the reference number for the call.
“Your auditor will not be required to report a contravention to us where you have received our approval to make the rollover outside SuperStream.”
It noted this was a temporary measure to assist in SMSF rollovers and was only available for rollovers from and between SMSFs.
Any problems related to obtaining an ESA to make a rollover from an Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA)-regulated super fund to an SMSF should be directed to the APRA-regulated fund.
The regulator also warned the paper-based process was unavailable to SMSFs that had not received permission to use it from the ATO.
“Using a paper form to conduct a rollover outside SuperStream on or after 1 October 2021 without first seeking our approval is a reportable breach of the SuperStream rules,” it said.
“In lodging an auditor/actuary contravention report, your auditor should tell us the reason(s) why the rollover was conducted outside SuperStream so we can take this into account when risk assessing the fund and deciding whether to apply penalties.
“Where we can see the SMSF trustee has had issues obtaining an ESA, we are unlikely to impose penalties for non-compliance with the SuperStream rules.”''