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SMSFA seeking COVID-19 clarity

SMSF Association coronavirus ATO

More relief measures to ease the impact of the coronavirus pandemic are being discussed between the SMSF Association and ATO.

The SMSF Association (SMSFA) is continuing to work with the ATO towards the introduction of additional financial relief measures as a response to the coronavirus pandemic, as well as clarification regarding some of the measures that have already been announced.

During a member webinar yesterday, SMSFA chief executive John Maroney revealed his latest meeting with the regulator was held that morning, where several items were discussed.

“Some of the issues we are raising with them [include requesting] more [information] on how the deferral-of-lodgement process will work. We’re expecting further guidance on the LRBA (limited recourse borrowing arrangement) concessions, which will be related to what has already been announced on rental concessions,” Maroney said.

“[We also discussed] the issue of relief for requiring wet signatures to be replaced by digital signatures and also the general concern about the millions of Australians who will need advice on a whole range of matters, and can some relief be provided that will allow this to happen on a more efficient and affordable basis than the current requirements.”

Questions asked by webinar participants indicated more communication is necessary for practitioners to understand how some of the financial relief measures recently announced by the federal government as part of a range of relief packages are going to be implemented.

How certain aspects of the JobKeeper payment for employers and employees would work was one initiative advisers wanted to know more about, particularly regarding the associated superannuation guarantee implications.

“The super guarantee will need to be paid on the usual salary and our understanding is it will be optional to top that up if the $1500 is higher than that,” Maroney said.

Several measures the association has called for to provide relief from the financial impact of the coronavirus situation have been implemented, including the reduction in minimum pensions and the rent concessions, particularly with regard to related parties.

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