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ATO, Compliance, Regulation

SMSFs falling over on basic TBAR errors: ATO

ATO finds errors in basic information in TBAR lodgements.

The ATO has received transfer balance account reports (TBAR) from 135,000 SMSFs thus far, but trustees are being caught out by basic errors in the information they are supplying.

ATO SMSF segment assistant commissioner Dana Fleming told selfmanagedsuper while she has not seen significant issues in the way SMSFs are lodging TBARs, she was surprised to see SMSF trustees committing basic errors when completing their reports.

“[It’s things like] putting in the incorrect ABN (Australian business number) of the fund or the incorrect TFN (tax file number) for either the fund or the member, or even forgetting to put in the date of birth for the member,” Fleming revealed.

However, she labelled the errors as teething problems, which should disappear once trustees become more familiar with the systems and processes.

Flemming said she has also observed an emerging trend of SMSF trustees reporting events to the ATO on a real-time basis.

“I think that shows the proactive messaging we’ve been trying to communicate – the sooner you tell us information, the sooner we can update your records, and you can see what your transfer balance cap is and what your total super balance is – is really getting out there, so that’s been quite pleasing as well,” she said.

“You don’t actually have to wait to report to us and make the TBAR reporting.

“The more frequently that people do let us know about changes in their super balance, the sooner we can update their MyGov [account] and they have up-to-date data made visible to them through that process.”

Flemming also reminded SMSFs the ATO has started issuing excess transfer balance determinations and has seen cases of trustees not complying with the 60-day time frame within which they can commute their excess transfer balance.

Funds must inform the ATO within 10 business days after the end of the month in which it is commuted.

“Sometimes it’s as simple as they’re going overseas for a big holiday as some people are generally retiring,” she said.

“They should contact the ATO and request an extension of time so we can work with them and then they don’t have to deal with the consequences and excess transfer balance commutation.”

Flemming warned if they failed to comply, the ATO will send a commutation authority to the fund, after which it will be compulsory for the fund to comply and report commutations.

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