The Australian Taxation Office has provided some clarification of the new event-based reporting requirement for self-managed superannuation funds.
Speaking at an SMSF Association conference in Sydney last week, Alex Afflek, an ATO assistant commissioner, said the new rules were designed so that members who are close to their $1.6 million transfer balance cap could get timely information to help them make necessary adjustments.
Afflek says that in most circumstances reporting will start on July 1 next year. SMSF trustees will have to report on credits and debits that affect members’ transfer balance caps.
Applicable events include commutations, commencement of an income stream, changes resulting from the repayment of borrowings and any action taken in response to the issue of a commutation authority by the ATO.
In situations where the SMSF member is also a member of an APRA-regulated fund, reporting requirements took effect from July 1.
The new rules will be a big change for SMSFs, which up to now have only had to report annually.
“The idea is that trustees will only have to report when there is an applicable event. They will not have to file nil-event reports,” Afflek says.
Different reporting deadlines will apply to different events. For example, trustees will have to notify the ATO of the commencement of an income stream 28 days after the end of the quarter in which the event occurred, while they will have to report a credit or debit to a transfer balance cap within 10 days of the event occurring.
The move to event-based reporting for SMSFs has been controversial. The Tax Institute has criticised it, saying it will put a lot of pressure on tax agents and trustees.
“Superannuation reporting requirements should be annual. At worst, reporting should be no more frequent that quarterly,” the Institute says in a statement on the issue.