New SMSF audit cycle sparks practitioner angst

George Jordan

Jordan George

The SMSF Association has received a significant amount of member feedback expressing concerns over the federal budget proposal for a three-yearly audit cycle for SMSFs with a good compliance and record-keeping history, as well as the industry body’s response.

Specifically, SMSF Association members have communicated their angst over the practical issues of moving to a three-yearly audit cycle and how the move could threaten the integrity of the SMSF sector.

The industry body has already begun to address these concerns such was the strength of the response since the budget was handed down on Tuesday night.

“We’ve already taken these concerns to [Revenue and Financial Services Minister] Kelly O’Dwyer’s office yesterday, as well as the Prime Minister’s office and Treasury. So CEO John Maroney was in Canberra yesterday and we’ve been able to convey those concerns straight to government very quickly,” SMSF Association head of policy Jordan George said during a 2018 Budget Update today.

“We do acknowledge that while the association looks favourably on reducing costs within the sector, we must balance that with protecting the integrity of the SMSF sector.”

George admitted all parties are awaiting more detail about the measure and its operation.

“What we’re proposing is definitely a lot more consultation with members, and we’ve had a lot of great feedback already, and we definitely appreciate the expert input we are receiving from members,” he said.

“We do believe the best way of influencing these proposals is to try and work closely with government rather than outrightly opposing something from the beginning because what that often does is it cuts us out of the consultation conversation with Treasury and government.

He assured his audience there would be more opportunities for members to communicate their opinions on this issue in the coming weeks.

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