SMSF audit policy update

23 May 2018

On Monday, the SMSF Association coordinated a meeting between the Association’s policy team, Treasury, the Australian Taxation Office and a number of SMSF Association audit, accounting and administration members to discuss the Government’s policy to reduce audit requirements for some SMSFs.

The meeting provided Treasury and ATO staff an opportunity to hear directly from practitioners on how the proposal to allow SMSFs with a history of good compliance and record keeping to have triennial audits would impact the SMSF sector.  The meeting also provided a chance for Treasury to better understand the role SMSF auditors play in the SMSF sector, especially their role in assisting trustees to meet their compliance obligations.

Key issues concerning the proposal’s potential negative impacts on the integrity of the SMSF sector, impacts on the ability for audit businesses to meet workflow challenges, and whether it would actually reduce costs for SMSFs were discussed in detail.

The discussion focussed on some key issues of how the policy could be potentially implemented:

  • The scope of the policy change and which SMSFs it would apply to as the measure is only intended to apply to a small subset of SMSFs.
  • “Trigger events” that would require an SMSF to have an annual audit even if it met other requirements for a triennial audit.
  • Transitional arrangements to introduce the measure.

Treasury said that the next steps in addressing the policy would be a likely discussion paper once it has completed initial consultation meetings which would then be followed by draft legislation in the second half of 2018.

The consultation meeting was an important step forward in addressing the SMSF sector’s concerns regarding this measure.  The SMSF Association will keep members informed of how this issue progresses and will make sure members have an opportunity to provide input on this change. Your thoughts and views are welcomed and can be sent to submissions@smsfassociation.com.