ATO decision gets thumbs up

The SMSF Association has welcomed the Australian Tax Office’s (ATO) decision to extend the lodgement date for self-managed superannuation fund (SMSF) annual returns for 2015-16 to 30 June 2017.

Both the Association and SMSF specialist advisors provided feedback to the ATO about the extra compliance work created by the 1 July 2017 changes, and today the ATO announced it had recognised the legitimacy of this and extended the current deadline.

Association Chief Executive Officer John Maroney says: “We welcome this flexible approach being taken by the ATO. It is a pressing time for accountants, tax agents and SMSF specialist advisors due to the complexity of the changes taking effect on 1 July, and the ATO’s decision acknowledges this.

“This extension will give advisors, who have the onerous responsibility of helping trustees comply with the current legislation, the time to plan, prepare and advise their clients about the upcoming changes during this crucial transition period.

“The extra time will allow SMSF trustees to make well informed decisions instead of hasty ones.”

Maroney says the ATO’s flexibility of this issue underlines the Association’s strong relationship with the regulator to ensure the best results are achieved for the SMSF sector.

In February, the Association and the ATO announced a three-year strategic partnership with the goal of working together to ensure efficient regulation and improved integrity in the SMSF sector. “This decision by the ATO is evidence that this partnership is delivering positive outcomes for the SMSF sector,” he says.