The ATO has encouraged SMSFs and their auditors to voluntarily disclose contraventions of superannuation law to avoid administrative penalties, stating that over 900 funds have used its voluntary disclosure service in the past three years.
In an update published on Monday, the ATO said trustees should work with auditors and other professionals to rectify a contravention as soon as possible once they became aware it had occurred.
“If you and your SMSF professionals together cannot rectify the contravention, our SMSF early engagement and voluntary disclosure service is available,” it said.
“The SMSF early engagement and voluntary disclosure service offers a single entry point for SMSF trustees and professionals to engage early with us in relation to unrectified contraventions.”
The ATO added that if funds voluntarily disclosed a known contravention before an audit commenced, this would be taken into account when determining what percentage of an administrative penalty would be remitted to the trustee.
“Since this service was introduced in May 2016, we have had over 920 applications where we have been able to work with these trustees and their professionals,” it said.
“This includes accepting rectification proposals to get the SMSF back on track or allowing the SMSF to wind up.”
The ATO advised funds wishing to voluntarily disclose a contravention to make use of the contravention disclosure form and include all relevant facts, supporting documentation and a rectification proposal or proposed enforceable undertaking.
It added that if funds had outstanding annual returns, these needed to be lodged before they could make use of the service.
By Sarah Kendell
23 August 2019