No leniency for late returns

SMSF lodgements extension

The ATO is not considering a general extension for late lodgements for SMSF annual returns, but has encouraged people to contact it directly to seek assistance with any problems.

The ATO will not offer a general extension for late SMSF annual return lodgements nor will it extend the two-week period before which SMSFs are removed from Super Fund Lookup, but has requested trustees contact it to seek help.

ATO superannuation and employer obligations deputy commissioner Emma Rosenzweig said the retention of the current time frames was important to ensure the timely lodgement of forms each year.

“Accountants and tax agents are facing lots of pressures and many of them are small businesses themselves, and with a couple of years of the pandemic and some natural disasters on top of that, we know there are challenges in making sure they keep up to date and are able to support their clients,” Rosenzweig said during a presentation at the recent SMSF Association National Conference 2022 in Adelaide.

“We have seen lodgement rates hold very well, even through some of the areas that have been affected by recent floods.

“What we encourage people to do if they are struggling to make their lodgement deadlines is come and talk to us and request extensions.

“We are very aware of the challenges people are having and looking to work with people in a way that’s really tailored to their situation, but we are not looking to change the two-week window for removing funds from Super Fund Lookup.

“We find it is a very effective way of getting people to lodge their returns and that is a growing challenge for us, particularly with some new entrants.”

According to Rosenzweig, new entrants are the source of increasing reporting contraventions due to confusion around the use of SMSF assets.

“We know there is a big increase in new people into the sector and a lot of them coming in really are not fully understanding their obligations and that can lead to a risk of contraventions,” she noted.

“Loans to members and illegal early release are our two biggest contraventions and we have also seen an increase in contraventions in relation to the sole purpose test and about market valuation of assets.”

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