Govt proposes auditor fee changes

SMSF auditor fees

The cost of being registered as an SMSF auditor will increase, but those looking to exit will be able to do so at a much lower cost.

The federal government has commenced consultation on SMSF auditor registration fees and has indicated it will slightly increase the fee to be registered as an approved auditor, but drastically reduce the registration cancellation fee that applies.

The consultation by Treasury is in regards to the Superannuation Auditor Registration Imposition Regulations 2012, which are due to sunset on 1 April 2023 and be replaced by the Superannuation Auditor Registration Imposition Regulations 2022.

The draft exposure for the regulations available from Treasury indicates the current fee to register as an approved SMSF auditor will increase from $1927 to $2191, while the fee to apply for registration as an approved SMSF auditor to be cancelled will fall from $899 to $193.

The reduction in the latter fee formed part of the SMSF Association’s pre-October budget submission where it noted the fee created a barrier to exit for auditors.

“The fee to cancel an approved SMSF auditor registration is almost half that of the fee to apply for registration,” the association’s submission stated.

“Someone who is seeking to cancel their registration and exit the sector should be encouraged to do so and not encouraged to maintain their registration due to the cost,” it added, suggesting the cancellation-of-registration fee for approved SMSF auditors be removed entirely.

“We recommend that the cancellation fee that applies for approved SMSF auditors is removed, providing a clear pathway for individuals seeking to exit the sector. This should be implemented as a priority.”

According to the draft bill, the regulations will become effective the day after the enabling instrument is registered and “changes do not affect the substantive meaning or operation of the provisions but allow for greater ease of understanding”, and consultation on any changes will remain open until 10 November.

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