ATO, Financial Advice

Adviser status needs checking

SMSF adviser status

SMSF trustees have been reminded to check the status of any advice provider they use in the establishment and running of their fund.

SMSF trustees have been reminded by the ATO to check the status of any professional adviser they use while keeping in mind they are still personally responsible for the activity of their fund.

In recent update, the regulator noted while SMSF trustees may be familiar with auditors and tax agents, they could also seek help from fund administrators and financial advisers.

The ATO, however, emphasised that before appointing any professional, trustees should ensure they were legitimate by checking the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) register of licensed advisers and approved SMSF auditors and the Tax Practitioners Board register of registered tax agents.

“Running a self-managed super fund can be difficult and there will be times where you are unsure of who to turn to for advice. There are a wide variety of professionals you can appoint to help run your SMSF so you can feel at ease,” it said.

“You should already know about auditors and tax agents, but there are many more who can help you, such as fund administrators and financial advisers.

“You should review the ASIC and TPB registers to ensure your professionals are still registered. If they are no longer registered, you should appoint new professionals.”

The ATO directed trustees to a previous update that noted the roles different professionals, such as accountants, administrators, lawyers, financial advisers, auditors and tax agents, could play in the establishment and running of an SMSF, but warned none of them held any responsibility for the proper running of a fund.

“You can engage SMSF professionals to help you set up and run your fund. You may want to get them involved right from the start since the decisions you make at start-up can affect their ability to help you later on,” it said.

“Many SMSF professionals offer packages or kits. If you buy a package or kit, make sure the trust deed complies with the current law and meets the needs of your fund, its objectives and the members’ circumstances.

“Remember, all members and trustees are responsible for running their SMSF. If you use a professional, you’re still responsible for making sure your SMSF meets its obligations and follows super law.”


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