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ATO outlines education courses for contraventions

The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) has approved a course for the purposes of education direction for SMSF trustee contraventions and has specified the requirements for other courses to be considered for inclusion.

The Self-Managed Superannuation Funds Trustee Education Program has been released by CPA Australia and the Institute of Chartered Accountants in Australia free to members and trustees of SMSFs.

For courses to be included as an approved course of education, applications must be sent to the ATO and must satisfy several conditions. The course must be provided online, provided free of charge to trustees to complete, reviewed by the ATO on an annual basis or as required, and must be at a level the ATO considers appropriate.

In addition, the ATO will not be liable for any cost incurred by the provider as part of developing, designing and maintaining the course.

Course content would be based on the trustee declaration and provide general awareness of a trustee’s obligations, the ATO said. This includes information on trustees’ roles and responsibilities within an SMSF and investment restrictions imposed on trustees of an SMSF, covering acquisitions, investments, borrowings, loans, sole purpose and arm’s-length dealings.

Furthermore, the course must cover the rules and limitations surrounding contributions and benefit payments within an SMSF and the administration involved in running an SMSF, such as recording keeping, separation of assets, changes to fund membership and contacts, lodgement and auditor requirements, and winding up a fund.

The course should be split into sections and concluded with a quiz at the end of each section in order for the trustee to proceed, and the duration should be of a suitable length to ensure the required content can be sufficiently covered.

The course also must be up-to-date and technically correct at all times and should make reference or provide links where available to information on the ATO website.

On successful completion of the course, a certificate showing its completion should be produced, which includes the trustee’s name, date of when the course was completed and that the course was completed successfully.

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