The ATO processes that will implement the new super reforms mean advisers, accountants, tax agents and other professionals working with SMSFs must change and adapt to a new world of reporting, particularly the transfer balance account report (TBAR) regime.
“Quietly and steadily over the last few years, the ATO’s role in super has been changing from that of a regulator of SMSFs and the tax authority to that of a participant in the industry,” IOOF senior technical services manager Pam Roberts said.
“For financial advisers, it is increasingly important to understand and work within these processes. It may not be particularly exciting, but understanding what data the ATO holds about a client, how they collect it and how they will use it will be critical to financial planning in the future.
“Financial planners with clients who have SMSFs will have the added issue of monitoring the reporting of pensions and withdrawals to the ATO on an events-time basis.
“For advisers working with accountants and tax agents, this is a quantum shift in the way these professions work currently with SMSFs.”
Currently, SMSFs report to the ATO on an annual basis via the super fund annual return.
However, with the commencement of the transfer balance cap, SMSFs will be required to provide a TBAR to the ATO of credits and debits on an events basis, with the reporting obligation to begin on 1 July 2018 for SMSFs, Roberts said.
At this stage, the ATO is not suggesting events-based reporting will extend to contributions, and annual contributions will continue to be reported in the super fund annual return, she noted.