SMSF Annual Return 2019-20 – It’s not too late to request a deferral

Although most of industry is focusing their attention on the recent Federal Budget, it is important that we do not lose sight of the need to lodge an SMSF Annual Return on time. We recognise that there are many reasons, many beyond your control or that of your client, as to why an SMSF annual return may be late so, if you have clients in this situation, it is not too late to request a deferral. 

To assume that the Commissioner is about to announce a blanket extension, deferring all 2019-20 SMSF annual return lodgments till 30 June 2021 would be unwise. In fact, it reminds me of a famous quote from Albert Einstein who said “Assumptions are made and most assumptions are wrong.”

Our discussions with the ATO have confirmed that the Regulator remains committed to working with SMSFs that need more time to meet their lodgment obligations due to exceptional and unforeseen circumstances. However, these SMSFs need to contact the ATO before their due date, to request an extension.

Without an extension, if the SMSF Annual Return is more than 2 weeks overdue, the Regulator will proceed to change the compliance status of the SMSF to ‘Regulation Details Removed’ on the Super Fund Lookup. This in turn will limit the SMSF’s ability to receive employer SG payments and rollovers from other superannuation providers. What’s more, additional failure to lodge and administrative penalties could also apply.  

Without a doubt, this is one of the busiest times of the year for SMSFs professionals, so if you have clients that need more time to lodge, it is important that you seek a deferral immediately.

Opinion piece written by
Mary Simmons, Technical Manager
SMSF Association