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BGL optimistic on TBAR change

BGL Corporate Solutions managing director Ron Lesh is hopeful a compromise will be reached for SMSFs reporting under the ATO’s transfer balance account report (TBAR) regime and the proposed monthly frequency will be replaced with a more practical quarterly occurrence.

“I don’t think the ATO is going to get rid of [the TBAR regime], but what we have done is get them to rethink the frequency for SMSFs as to how often events are lodged and making the dates the same [with other reporting lodgements],” Lesh told selfmanagedsuper.

“I’m optimistic that the ATO will take heed of what we’ve been saying and will rethink it as they’ve had some consultation, so we seem to be getting somewhere with the reporting.

“It’s about getting a good result for our clients at the end and I think we are heading in that direction as the ATO hasn’t been as definitive in the last couple of weeks about how things are going to work.”

He said the ATO’s proposal for SMSFs to report events 10 business days after the end of the month was not practical for the industry.

“We think the idea of having separate reporting dates for different events is ridiculous,” he said.

“Our view is that all of the reporting should be aligned with the business activity statement reporting, so it should be 28 days after the end of every quarter.

“The issue isn’t the fact that you’ve got to report often, but for every client of ours administering 50 or 100 or 200 funds, it’s not just a matter of them pushing a button so they can report on say, seven funds, but what they will always have to do is check over every single fund to make sure that there isn’t an event they didn’t report.

“So it’s an added review process over the whole business, which will end up being very time-consuming and costly – that’s what we’ve told the ATO – and so what we’re saying is that events-based reporting should be built into all the processes of how accounting and administration businesses already operate, and it has to be easy to manage from that perspective.”

Last month, the software firm launched its #telltheATO campaign, which includes a petition to Assistant Treasurer Kelly O’Dwyer and ATO commissioner Chris Jordan at causes.com, pressing for a revision of the “draconian” superannuation reporting requirements proposed by the tax office.

“We’ve been in this industry for almost 28 years and we have a pretty fair idea of how the accounting practices work, we know what their issues are and so I think we’re in a great position to help to get a system that actually works,” Lesh said.

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