At the SMSF National Conference we heard James O’Halloran, Deputy Commissioner of Superannuation give a speech outlining the areas of focus for the balance of the financial year. The speech confirmed that a key component of the ATO is education to prevent breaches before they occur, especially in light of the recent superannuation reforms, but with some specific enforcement priorities.
Advisors should advise their clients to be aware that the following areas are on the ATO’s radar:
- “persistent non-lodgers” that have one or more SMSF annual return outstanding;
- compliance action against SMSFs breaching the superannuation laws;
- application of the non-arm’s length income rules;
- schemes where SMSF members deliberately exceed their non-concessional contribution caps to manipulate the taxable and non-taxable components; and
- SMSFs and reserves (the ATO considers that reserves should exist in very limited circumstances).
The Deputy Commissioner stated that the voluntary disclosure program is working well and continues to encourage SMSFs to participate in early engagement with the ATO if an issue arises.
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