Further to the recent speech given by James O’Halloran, Kasey MacFarlane, Assistant Commissioner, SMSF Segment, Superannuation, Australian Taxation Office (ATO), in her speech at The Tax Institute’s National Superannuation Conference, has given further guidance on the ATO’s current focus for self managed superannuation funds (SMSFs) in 2016/17 and the ATO’s recent enforcement actions. The speech highlighted:
- The ATO has issued a few hundred administrative penalties since the new penalty regime was introduced in 1 July 2014;
- Less than 100 SMSFs were made non-compliant in the last year;
- The ATO has disqualified about 600 SMSF trustees in the last year;
- The ATO has received about 30 voluntary disclosures under its new voluntary disclosure procedure – the two most common types of disclosures were in relation to unauthorised loans and underpayment of pensions – the ATO is working closely with these trustees;
- The ATO will no longer automatically audit SMSF trustees who have had an auditor contravention report (ACR) lodged relating to a serious breach – instead the ATO will seek to engage with the SMSF trustees especially if it is a first time contravention; and
- “Extreme caution” should be taken for SMSFs involved in related party property development arrangements – while not expressly prohibited, in recent reviews of such matters, the ATO has raised concerns in relation to potential breaches of sections 65, 66, 67 and 109 of the Superannuation Industry (Supervision) Act 1993 and the sole purpose test.