ATO, Compliance

No way out for late lodging SMSFs

ATO SMSF late lodgement

The ATO-imposed change in the online status of SMSF following a late lodgement cannot be reversed, an SMSF service provider has claimed.

SMSFs that have their status changed by the ATO as the result of a late lodgement after the 31 October deadline will have no legal recourse to reverse the regulatory action, according to an SMSF online service provider.

In an article on its website, SuperCentral said the recently announced change in status from “complying” to “regulation details removed” for missing the SMSF annual return due date and two week grace period would be “social exclusion (if not death) for SMSFs”.

“SMSFs which have been subject to this action have no effective legal redress,” SuperCentral said.

“Inclusion of the SMSF’s details in the Super Fund Lookup website is not a statutory right of the SMSF or trustees and as the operation of the website is not required by legislation, there will be no rights of appeal to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal or right of review under the Administrative Decisions (Judicial Review) Act 1977.

“A complaint to the Taxation Ombudsman (which is a service provided under the auspices of the Inspector-General of Taxation) may not be effective as there is no statutory right to be listed on the website and, in any event, the Ombudsman may view the delisting of late lodging SMSFs to be a reasonable and non-putative means of ensuring SMSFs perform their statutory obligation to lodge returns by the due date.”

SMSFs that cannot ensure their annual returns are lodged by the end of October should not rely on the two week grace period and should instead seek out a tax agent ahead of the deadline, SuperCentral added.

“If the 31 October 2019 deadline cannot be met then the SMSF should consider appointing a tax agent (before 31 October 2019) so that the lodgement of the return will be determined by the agent’s lodgement schedule,” it said.

“Generally, this means returns for the year ended 30 June 2019 will be required to be lodged by 28 February 2020 (if the SMSF was established during the year ended 30 June 2019) or by 31 March 2020 (if the fund’s total income is $2m or more) or by 15 May 2020 (if the fund’s total income is less than $2m).

“Different due dates may apply depending on the particular circumstances of the SMSF.”

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