As we previously identified (see Stronger Super and SMSFS – Part 3) the operating standard compelling SMSF trustees to hold their assets separately is a limited obligation due to the wording of the standard in regulation 4.09A of the SIS Regs. The obligation only prevents mixing of the trustee’s personal assets or those held by a standard employer sponsor (or associate of the employer sponsor). In ATO ID 2014/7 the ATO has determined that regulation 4.09A was breached by the SMSF trustee using the same bank account as a number of unit trusts. However, the only reason the breach occurred was that the unit trusts were associates of the employer sponsor of the SMSF. If there had been no employer sponsor then the regulation would not have been breached. This is an important reminder where an SMSF has an employer sponsor, the SMSF trustee should strongly consider removing the position of employer sponsor from their SMSFs (as well as the benefit of having a corporate trustee for the SMSF).
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