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Clock ticking for annual return lodgement

SMSF annual return lodgements

The ATO has reminded trustees to ensure all SMSF annual returns are lodged and up to date prior to the new financial year to avoid penalties.

The ATO has warned trustees to ensure all SMSF annual return (SAR) lodgements are completed before the end of the financial year to avoid a contravention and that any lodgements overdue by more than two weeks will be deemed late unless an extension has been approved.

“We know that running an SMSF can be time consuming, however, keeping on top of your lodgements is an important obligation for trustees,” the regulator said in a website update.

SMSFs with SARs that are more than two weeks overdue without an approved extension can expect the regulator to change their status on Super Fund Lookup to state ‘Regulation details removed’ and this status will remain in place until any late lodgements have been resolved.

While this status is in place, the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority cannot roll over member benefits into the SMSF and the ATO noted employers will be discouraged from making any super guarantee contributions into the fund.

The regulator noted SMSFs that have failed to lodge on time will be at risk of penalties.

“Not lodging your SAR is a contravention and we recommend you use the SMSF early engagement and voluntary disclosure service to notify us if there are specific reasons as to why you cannot lodge,” it said.

“If you use this service, we will take your disclosure into account when determining any enforcement action.”

SMSFs experiencing difficulties preparing and lodging SARs have been encouraged to contact the ATO or a registered tax agent, who can also help trustees defer a SAR due date.

The regulator additionally suggested funds check the trustee reporting obligations checklist in order to avoid any further risk of contravention.

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