Practical application of super changes key

The Self-managed Independent Superannuation Funds Association (SISFA) is focusing on the real life practical application of the super changes, in line with the ATO’s interpretation, as a myriad of unique SMSF scenarios are emerging and causing confusion among advisers.

“The difficulties and the questions that have arisen as a result of the application of these rules and the practical implications practitioners have to deal with [means that] they are looking for outcomes and examples that they can take away to use for their clients,” SISFA managing director Mike Goodall told selfmanagedsuper.

“Prior to the application of the regulations the industry was trying to figure out how these changes might work and now we know what we have to do but it’s about figuring out how practitioners comply with these things.

“So it’s only now through the practical application stage that people are starting to come out and say that if they’ve got this particular scenario, how does this rule apply.

“I am seeing high email traffic among our own membership and a number of our board members who are experienced practitioners themselves.”

Goodall believes this is a result of the government choosing to fast track the super changes.

“Because the legislation moved so quickly, there was never time to figure out all the ‘what if’ scenarios,” he said.

“So the difficulty now is that all the ‘what if’ scenarios are starting to come up, and both the industry and the regulator are very busy trying to figure out how to interpret the regulations to apply to the real life scenarios people are coming up with.

“In the time that the government moved this legislation through, you could never canvass the full gamut of all the possibilities.

“We’re trying to figure out how it all works and this is where all the questions are coming up, which is why we’re trying to tackle them and provide some practical guidance.”

Goodall highlighted this issue and area of focus as it will be the theme for the upcoming SISFA SMSF Forum on 9 October in Melbourne. More information can be found here.

ATO SMSF segment assistant commissioner Kasey Macfarlane will be presenting at the forum and will outline how the regulator will practically apply the new super rules, as well as sharing the ATO’s views on how it believes SMSF trustees will deal with and manage their reporting requirements.

“We’re looking forward to hearing how the ATO will practically approach this to give further insights to practitioners as well as the advice that they should be giving to their clients in order to meet the new super regime and the events-based reporting especially,” Goodall said.

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