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On 28 June 2007, the Auditor-General tabled the Australian National Audit Office (ANAO) report entitled "The ATO's Approach to Regulating and Registering Self Managed Superannuation Funds". The report looks at the ATO handling of SMSFs since it assumed responsibility for them in 1999-2000. The report concludes:

"Overall, the ANAO concluded the ATO’s initial approach to regulating and registering SMSFs could have been more efficient and effective. In particular, the ATO could have taken steps to clarify its role and responsibilities earlier, managed its funding, costs and revenue (levy) collections more effectively, and, improved the collection and assessment of registration data, and fund income tax and regulatory return data, prior to issuing SMSFs with complying fund status. In this context, it is important that members and potential members understand the limited extent of the ATO’s prudential supervision of SMSFs.

The ANAO recognises that, since 2003-04, the ATO has initiated significant steps to resolve deficiencies with the administrative and costing systems that support its regulation and registration of SMSFs. The ATO intends to make further changes to its SMSF management practices in implementing the Simplification Superannuation reforms. Further, the ATO is in the process of developing a new publication which will assist to clarify its role and responsibilities for the public."

The ANAO made 6 recommendations aimed at improving the ATO’s approach to regulating and registering SMSFs. The ATO agreed to all of the 6 recommendations made.

For a copy of the Report, Audit Report No.52 2006-07, go here

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