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ATO to assess misuse of SMSF auditor details

The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) has announced it will undertake a pilot project to review the risk of SMSF auditors’ details, including the SMSF auditor number (SAN), being misused and falsely reported on annual returns.

“The reporting of the auditor details, including the SAN, provides the ATO with assurance that a registered SMSF auditor has completed the annual audit for that fund,” the ATO said.

“The annual audit is critical to the integrity of the framework of the SMSF sector.

“Over the last few years, we have become aware of a small number of cases where the SMSF auditor reported on the SMSF annual return did not undertake the audit.”

The tax office said it had recently noticed increased concern among approved SMSF auditors regarding the issue.

“In recognition of this, we are commencing a project to further investigate the issue and are taking action on the cases we identify,” it said.

“The pilot project will work with a number of SMSF auditors to assess the risk of SMSF auditors’ details being misused and falsely reported on SMSF annual returns.

“Where we confirm a SMSF annual return has been lodged but no audit has been completed, we will be working with the trustees and tax agents involved to complete an audit and consider what other action should be taken.”

The outcomes of the pilot project would help to inform future work to address the risk, as well as the ongoing compliance approach, it said.

SMSF auditors who believe their details have been used inappropriately should contact the ATO.

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