The ATO has amended the timeframe it employs to finalise the wind-up of an SMSF once the fund’s final annual return has been lodged to allow the procedure to be executed in a more realistic manner.
“The ATO was previously cancelling [company] ABNs (Australian Business Numbers) [for SMSFs using a corporate trustee] 14 days after the final return was lodged but they’ve found this timeframe simply isn’t long enough for any final expenses or income to be paid into or out of the fund and anything that needs to be processed through the SuperStream as well,” ASF Audits head of education told attendees of a recent technical webinar.
“So that timeframe has now been extended to 28 days. [It means] the ATO will now cancel the ABN 28 days after the SAR (SMSF annual return) is lodged, not 14 days, and hopefully that will provide enough time and enough leeway to finalise any of those outstanding amounts in the fund,” she revealed.
Banton also reminded advisers to ensure their clients are aware their required duties as trustees do not cease immediately after the SMSF has officially been wound up.
“Under section 103 [of the Superannuation Industry (Supervision) (SIS) Act] they’ve got to keep minutes of all meetings and retain them for a minimum of 10 years,” she explained.
“[Further] under section 104 [of the SIS Act] they’ve got to keep records of any trustee changes and trustee consents for a minimum of 10 years.
“And lastly under [section] 105 [of the SIS Act] they’ve got to keep copies of all member or beneficiary reports for a minimum of 10 years as well.
“So really it is [a matter of] buyer beware and [you need to] make sure your clients understand that fact especially if they’re no longer a client once that fund has wound up,” she concluded.