Administration, ATO

ATO to speed up establishment procedure

New ATO procedures will close the gap between the establishment of an SMSF and when it can receive contributions.

The ATO has announced it will be changing its processes, enabling it to issue notices of compliance in a timelier manner in the immediate future.

According to Smarter SMSF chief executive Aaron Dunn, these procedural amendments will be particularly noticeable during the fund set-up stage.

“At the moment we have this concept once a fund has been established and registered we get this ‘registered status not determined’ [notification],” Dunn said during his latest technical webinar.

“What happens is that ‘registered status not determined’ doesn’t change until after we lodge the SMSF annual return. At that stage it changes to ‘complying’ [status].”

He pointed out this chain of events had resulted in problems for trustees who  wanted to make contributions as soon as the fund was registered, but were unable to do so. This situation meant there was an increased urgency to file the SMSF’s first return.

“What’s going to happen now is that the ATO is moving this right back to a very short period of time immediately after that process of registration,” he noted.

“So there will be a few days where the fund will come up as ‘registered status not determined’ and then a few days after that the registered status will be updated immediately to ‘complying’.

“So we’re not going to have to wait for the lodgement of the SMSF annual return to be able to get that ‘complying’ status.”

This change is very important because it eliminates the confusion employers previously faced in making superannuation guarantee contributions to newly established SMSFs, he pointed out.

“That’s a really good outcome and I’ll be interested in adviser feedback as to how this change has evolved and how quickly that turnaround actually happens,” he said.

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