Financial advisers and accountants need to ensure their administrative system is the source of truth for their SMSF clients’ total super balance (TSB) records and should not rely on the ATO for this purpose, an industry technical expert has said.
“Where are we keeping track of a client’s total super balance? We want our systems to be the source of truth,” SuperConcepts SMSF technical services executive manager Mark Ellem told delegates at the Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand National SMSF Conference 2018 in Melbourne today.
“So when you think about the systems you’re using, can you easily lay your hands on and find some of the [SMSF] members’ total super balance? Will your system keep track of not only the balance inside of the fund, but also can you enter any details from other funds [into the system]?”
Ellem warned practitioners not to rely on the ATO to keep track of an individual’s TSB as accessing this information can be extremely difficult.
“Who’s tried calling the tax office up and asking for details of the transfer balance account details or total super balance for an individual and told you’re not the tax agent for the individual, therefore no?” he said.
“Then who’s had fun calling the client and asking them to look up their MyGov account and ask them to print [their total super balance] out?
“So it’s not easy to get that information from the ATO.”
Due to the difficulty in extracting TSB information from the ATO, he suggested accountants and financial advisers look to use client MyGov accounts as a source of verification for the TSB records kept on their own systems.
He emphasise practitioners need to keep the records of the SMSFs they are administering, but should have a system in use allowing individuals to enter the details of any other funds of which they are members so an accurate and definitive TSB record can be maintained.