The Australian Taxation Office has established a disqualified self-managed super fund trustee register that will allow SMSF professionals and other trustees to see who they are dealing with.
The ATO says it is important when setting up an SMSF and appointing trustees to ensure they not have been disqualified due to a contravention or been ruled as not ‘fit and proper’ to be a trustee.
The register includes trustees who have been disqualified since 2012 and will be updated quarterly. The list currently has 2862 names of trustees disqualified over that period.
In 2018, the ATO disqualified 257 trustees representing 169 SMSFs
Disqualifications have been gazetted since 2012 but the ATO concedes there was no easy way to search for details of a particular trustee. The new register has been designed to address that.
The ATO says unauthorised lending is one of a number of mistakes that get trustees into trouble. The others contraventions include poor trust set-up, failure to separate trust assets, breaches of the sole purpose and in-house assets tests, and failure to update deeds and investment strategies.
A person is disqualified if they have been convicted of an offence involving dishonesty, have been subject to a civil penalty order under the super laws, are insolvent, or have been disqualified by a court or regulator.
All members of an SMSF must be individual trustees or directors of the corporate trustee.