Business News

ATO education direction a non-commercial domain

Courses trustees will have to undergo after receiving an education direction as part of the new Australian Taxation Office (ATO) regulatory powers are likely to be offered by industry associations and only a limited number of commercial organisations servicing the space, according to an industry expert.

“The interesting element is that you can’t charge trustees who have to take the course, so you wouldn’t think you’d have a lot of providers lining up to provide them,” AMP SMSF head of policy and technical Peter Burgess told selfmanagedsuper.

“Some providers might see it as an opportunity to get into the sector, but the fact you can’t charge for it is a drawback.

“Having said that, I would expect most of the major players to offer some education service and most of the associations.”

Burgess said the courses were likely to be online in nature, would most likely take trustees up to three hours to complete and would need to be approved by the regulator.

He noted the ATO’s course curriculum had in the main already been formulated.

“The ATO has already done a fair bit of work on this in terms of what the course needs to cover because this looked like coming in on 1 July last year. So they’re a fair way down the track and probably a lot further than what people think,” he said.

“The curriculum, what’s going to be in the course, seems to be based around the trustee declaration. When you start a fund you have to sign that declaration to say you know about certain things and that’s going to be a curriculum guide for these courses.”

When it came to the broader compliance powers to come into effect on 1 July, the issuing of education directions was likely to be the most commonly used course of action.

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