The ATO has given mid-August as the time from which the registration of a six-member fund will be possible through the Australian Business Register (ABR).
In an update on its website, the regulator stated it was making changes to the ABR that would allow the registration of an SMSF that had a fifth or sixth member and those changes should be completed in about four weeks.
“These updates are expected to be completed by mid-August. We recommend you wait until the ABR is updated before you add more than four members, however, if you wish to add additional members, an interim solution is available for you,” it said.
That interim solution was outlined on 1 July, the date on which the Treasury Laws Amendment (Self Managed Superannuation Funds) Bill 2020 took effect, and at the time the SMSF Association noted the stop-gap measure was a result of the short time between the bill receiving royal assent – 22 June – and its start date.
SMSFs wishing to proceed with the addition of a fifth or sixth member have been advised they should create a four-member fund under the ATO’s existing processes and then lodge the details for the fifth and/or sixth member(s) via the change of details for superannuation entities form (NAT3036), which is accessible through the regulator’s website.
Any fund and member details submitted under this latter process will be automatically added to the ABR, according to the ATO, which also pointed out any expansion of a fund must be consistent with its trust deed, and the laws of the state or territory in which the fund is registered may restrict the number of trustees an SMSF can have.
It also noted changes to a fund’s size may alter reporting obligations and any new six-member funds were still required to have an Australian business number and tax file number unique to the fund before they are registered with the ATO.
As the regulator for the SMSF sector, the ATO also holds powers to review new trustees and members and states on its website that where a new member or trustee is added and it initiates a review, the SMSF will be taken offline for up to 56 days while the review is conducted.