SISFA to fight for SMSF TBAR carve-out

The Self-managed Independent Superannuation Funds Association (SISFA) has said it will continue to work closely with the ATO in order to adjust the way its transfer balance account report (TBAR) regime will work for SMSFs.

“There has been a lot of submissions and discussions happening about events-based reporting and in our submissions we’ve asked that the [ATO] adapts the way it comes in for SMSFs,” SISFA policy committee chair Michael Jones said at the industry body’s Annual SMSF Forum in Melbourne this week.

“And a really good development, which we hope is where we arrive, is the idea that if you’ve got the lowest certain amount in your SMSF, then you shouldn’t be caught up in this events-based reporting.”

Jones warned it would be detrimental to the sector to allow for further administration and cost burdens.

“SMSFs are quite special to Australia and they’re important because they help people manage their own superannuation, so if you start to put layers of reporting and costs on them, you’re really threatening the fundamentals of SMSFs,” he noted.

“So we’ve been quite strong in trying to make sure that perhaps what the regulator feels it needs, it may not for all instances.

“If we can get a carve-out as much as we possibly can for SMSFs, we’ll do it.”

During the SISFA forum, ATO SMSF segment director Maria Iacopino said the regulator would continue to consider industry feedback ahead of its decision to choose a TBAR frequency, following a position paper it released in August.

“I agree that SMSFs are unique as they are self-managed, which means you’re looking after your own retirement interests and self-assessing,” Iacopino said on Monday.

“So we are taking on all the feedback and we are looking at ways to make it easier for SMSFs to comply with this new reporting measure.

“And that’s why we haven’t come out yet with the frequency of how SMSFs will be reporting because we’re looking at what the best option is for SMSFs, especially where members are way below the $1.6 million transfer balance cap limit.”

The ATO was also looking to improve the current TBAR form to accommodate SMSFs and avoid data repetition, she said.

The TBAR regime requires events-based reporting by SMSFs from 1 July 2018, however, SMSFs are able to commence reporting to the ATO next month.

On 21 August, the regulator published its position paper requesting industry feedback on the two possible time-frame scenarios for SMSFs for events-based reporting under the TBAR regime.

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