ATO, Compliance

ATO corporate trustee disqualification upheld

corporate SMSF trustee disqualification

The director of a corporate SMSF trustee who illegally accessed nearly $900,000 has lost an appeal to have their disqualification overturned.

The Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT) has upheld the disqualification by the ATO of a director of a corporate trustee of an SMSF following a range of contraventions, including illegal early access of nearly $900,000.

The AAT made the ruling in the case of Goulopoulos and Commissioner of Taxation (2022) on 9 August 2022, affirming a decision in August 2019 by the ATO to disqualify Andrew and Valentina Goulopoulos, who were the responsible officers of the corporate trustee of the Goulopoulos Superannuation Fund.

The regulator said one of the contraventions leading to the disqualification was the illegal early access of super where no condition of release had been met, with a total of $878,365.86 being withdrawn from the fund for personal use, including the purchase of a new house and luxury car.

The publicly available record of the case states $52,436.26 was repaid to the fund, but the ATO noted the illegal early access was in breach of the payment standards of the Superannuation Industry (Supervision) (SIS) Act.

It added the action of the trustee also resulted in breaches of the borrowing provisions, in-house asset provisions and acquisition of assets from a related party provisions of the SIS Act and the fund had failed to lodge any annual returns for four years.

“The AAT recently upheld our decision to disqualify following an appeal from one of the former responsible officers,” the ATO stated, with the public record of the case indicating the appeal by Valentina Goulopoulos had been withdrawn prior to the hearing of the appeal.

“The AAT was satisfied that the applicant had committed serious breaches of the superannuation laws and was also not a fit and proper person to be a trustee of a SMSF.”

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