ATO advice bulletin ‘helpful tool’ for trustees, advisers

Media Releases

ATO advice bulletin ‘helpful tool’ for trustees, advisers

SMSF Association Media Release

06 April 2018

The Australian Tax Office (ATO) has set up a new public advice and guidance product for self-managed super fund (SMSF) trustees and their advisers in an initiative that has been welcomed by the SMSF Association.

Called the SMSF Regulator’s Bulletin (SMSFRB), it will provide targeted and timely updates about new, or emerging, superannuation regulatory and income tax arrangements that pose potential compliance risks for the SMSF sector.

SMSF Association CEO John Maroney says: “We’re extremely supportive of this initiative to provide targeted updates about compliance issues, with the first bulletin, about how the ATO expects the use of reserves by SMSFs to only occur in limited circumstances, a good starting point.

“We believe this is an excellent example of a regulator being proactive in guiding behavior without needing to go as far as taking compliance action.

“More specifically, in this bulletin the ATO draws attention to the use of reserves to circumvent the measures announced in the 2016-17 Budget, and offers timely advice to trustees and advisers on this issue and, importantly, how to remain complaint.

“Certainly, the Association concurs with the ATO’s view that the use of reserves by SMSFs should only be for specific and legitimate purposes.”

Maroney says the Association will work with the ATO to explore possible legislative solutions to allow SMSF trustees with large legacy reserves to allocate these amounts in a more timely and effective manner than the current legislation allows.