SMSF Association applauds ATO super project

The SMSF Association has come out in full support of the ATO’s recently published Super Scheme Smart material, which is designed to give taxpayers relevant information and cases studies about illegal retirement planning arrangements, including the associated risks and warning signs.

“We are highly supportive of the clarity that the ATO material provides on issues and risk areas that are causing concern for SMSF advisers and trustees alike,” SMSF Association chief executive John Maroney said.

“It outlines vital information and specific illegal retirement planning schemes to help people make the right decision on how to manage their superannuation and avoid these schemes.”

The ATO material includes case studies on schemes such as related-party property ventures, life interests over commercial properties and deliberately exceeding non-concessional contribution caps to manipulate tax outcomes.

It also touches on the deliberate use of multiple SMSFs, as well as the use of reserves to circumvent caps, which have been topical issues for SMSFs since the commencement of the government’s super reforms on 1 July.

Maroney said it was an excellent initiative by the regulator to build education and awareness about risks regarding illegal retirement planning schemes.

“While we know the vast majority of SMSF members are trying to swim between the flags, it can be easy to be caught up in an illegal scheme without the right information or advice at hand,” he noted.

“Education and awareness is always the first step in curbing the influence of illegal arrangements and we look forward to further clarity and updates from the ATO when issues arise in the future.”

He added it was encouraging to see an increasing number of industry-wide initiatives such as Super Scheme Smart that help protect SMSF members’ retirement savings.

According to the SMSF Association, about 45 per cent of SMSF members are aged 50 and over.

Super Scheme Smart details how to recognise a scheme, how to check if you’ve been caught up in a scheme, where to get help and how to report a scheme.

The material can be found here.

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