ATO, Compliance & Regulation

New compliance guidance imminent

SMSF compliance guidance

New compliance guidance materials are being formulated by the ATO, one of which marks a change in approach with education directions.

The ATO is currently formulating new compliance guidance materials for trustees, with the SMSF Association acknowledging the initiative of most note is the one covering off its ability to issue an education direction.

“One of the powers the ATO has these days, if trustees do the wrong thing, is to issue an education direction to the trustees to say you’ve got to undertake a certain course of education. The ATO had previously approved certain courses for this purpose, but those courses no longer appear on the regulator’s website. They’ve been taken down,” SMSF Association chief executive Peter Burgess said.

“So there are no courses there at the moment, but the ATO is now coming up with its own courses. Previously it had relied on external education providers for courses of which it approved.”

It is expected the ATO’s own trustee education courses will be made available later this year.

According to Burgess, the move to provide its own trustee courses is not the only initiative the regulator has embarked on in an effort to increase the knowledge of individuals who run their own super fund and in turn improve compliance levels within the sector.

“Also of note is a new fact sheet that the ATO has now made available for advisers and accountants to in turn make available to SMSF trustees,” he said.

“This is to help clients understand the preservation rules basically, that is, the rules around members accessing their money early.”

He suggested practitioners with SMSF clients should familiarise themselves with the fact sheet as it is a very user-friendly tool for fund members.

“Make a note of that fact sheet. It’s a really easy read and something you can give out to your clients to make sure they understand the rules,” he noted.


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