ATO flags guidance updates

ATO superannuation guidance

The ATO is in the process of updating a number of its guidance materials covering a variety of SMSF and general superannuation issues.

The ATO has indicated it is set to release several pieces of updated advice and guidance regarding a range of issues relevant to SMSFs and superannuation in general.

With regard to specific SMSF matters, the regulator will be upgrading its instruction on two topics, the first being one covering rectification directions, entitled Final Law Administrative Practice Statement – Rectifications for contraventions to the Superannuation Industry (Supervision) Act 1993.

“This Practice Statement will provide guidance to ATO staff on the relevant matters to be considered when deciding whether to give a trustee or a director of a body corporate that is a trustee of a self-managed super fund a written rectification direction under section 159 of the Superannuation Industry (Supervision) Act 1993,” it stated.

It is expected to be completed in the middle of 2023.

The second SMSF-specific guidance undergoing revision is Final Law Administration Practice Statement – Education direction for contraventions of the Superannuation Industry (Supervision) Act 1993.

This material will serve to assist ATO staff as to the elements they may wish to consider when deciding whether to give SMSF trustees a written education direction as a result of a compliance breach and is expected to be completed in early 2023.

The regulator is also looking to further clarify its position by way of another Final Law Administrative Practice Statement regarding the use of discretionary powers when super funds have accepted a member contribution when it was not eligible to be made.

“This Practice Statement will provide guidelines on the commissioner’s discretion as set out in subsection 304-10(4) of the Income Tax Assessment Act 1997, which may be applied where superannuation benefits are received in breach of legislative requirements,” it noted.

It is expected to be published in mid-2023.

An updated Taxation Ruling 2010/1 is also underway that addresses the interactions between non-arm’s-length income provisions and the superannuation contribution rules, with an expected release in late 2023.

Finally, an addendum to Taxation Ruling TR 2013/5 is also being prepared to address the impact of the introduction of the transfer balance cap on 1 July 2017.

“The addendum will update the legislative references in the ruling as a result of these amendments, as well as address other amendments including to the definition of superannuation income stream benefit,” the ATO said.

This change is forecast to be finished by mid-2023.

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