ATO updates ABR to allow six-member funds

ATO ABR members

Updates to the Australian Business Register (ABR) to allow the creation of six-member SMSFs are complete and will replace an interim process offered by the ATO.

The ATO has met its target of having the Australian Business Register (ABR) updated to allow the registration of SMSFs with up to six members.

The regulator announced late last week the ABR was now able to receive registrations for the new expanded limit on SMSF members seven weeks after the change passed through parliament and six weeks after it came into effect.

Since the ability to create a fund with up to six members came into effect on 1 July, the ATO has offered an interim two-step process and any new funds registered by that process will be added to the ABR without any further work needed from the fund trustees.

The ATO added that while legislation now applied to allow the creation of funds with up to six members, or the addition of members to that level, some state and territory laws still restricted the number of trustees a trust could hold.

“As an SMSF is a type of trust, it is important that you seek professional advice to help understand if your SMSF is impacted by these restrictions,” it stated in an update.

It also noted the increase in the maximum number of members in an SMSF also impacted the requirements around the signing of financial statements.

“The accounts and statements – an operating statement and a statement of financial position – of an SMSF must be signed by the required number of trustees or directors of the corporate trustee,” it said.

“This number will depend on the number of trustees or directors of the corporate trustee that your SMSF has.

“For the 2021/22 and later financial years, if there are one or two directors or individual trustees, then all of them must sign the documents, [for] three or more directors or individual trustees, then at least half of them must sign the documents.”

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