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ATO spells out supervisory levy requirements

SMSF supervisory levy

The ATO has explained some variations to the annual supervisory levy SMSF trustees must pay when they lodge their fund’s annual return.

The ATO has sought to clarify some of the more intricate elements involved with the annual supervisory levy trustees are required to pay when they lodge the SMSF annual return (SAR).

In a message posted on its website, the regulator reminded trustees payment of the supervisory levy is an obligation needing to be satisfied very year that an SMSF is registered regardless of whether the fund has an existing tax liability in the relevant financial year.

It pointed out the fee is standard for every SMSF, currently $259 a year, but the amount to be paid can change depending on the individual fund’s circumstances, with the establishment and wind-up phases requiring particular attention as the levy has to be paid in advance.

“If your SMSF is continuing to operate into 2020/ 21 and it was registered in 2019/20, you need to pay for both 2019/20 and 2020/21, [but if it was registered before 2019/20] you need only pay [the levy] for 2019/20,” the ATO said in relation to funds lodging their first SAR.

With regard to SMSFs that are being discontinued, it said: “If your SMSF wound up in 2019/20, and it was registered in 2019/20, you need to pay for only 2019/20 [and if the fund was registered before 2019/20] you do not have anything to pay.”

It also noted the associated reporting obligation SMSF trustees had if the standard annual levy has to be varied.

“As the levy amount is prepopulated on the SAR, most funds don’t have to do anything other than pay the levy. However, if you have a newly registered fund, or your fund is winding up, you will need to make an adjustment on the SAR to determine the amount to pay,” it noted.

The regulator recently declared it would take a tougher stance on the SAR lodgement responsibility.

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