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In media release No 2014/06, issued 19 February 2014, it is noted that nearly one million Australia have chosen to take control of their superannuation future as the popularity of self-managed super funds (SMSFs) continues to grow.

ATO Deputy Commissioner Superannuation, Alison Lendon, who is speaking at the SMSF Professionals Association of Australia (SPAA) national conference this week, said in light of the sector’s growth, the ATO is committed to improving the services it provides to SMSF fund managers and trustees.

“With the popularity of SMSFs continuing to grow, we want to work with trustees and their advisors to improve compliance and make sure they are prepared for several regulatory changes that will be rolled out over the next year."

The government’s proposed legislation giving the ATO new powers to address non-compliance by SMSF trustees will also be discussed at the conference.

If the legislation is adopted, administrative penalties will apply to breaches of super law from 1 July 2014. This means SMSF trustees will be personally liable for penalties between $850 and $10,200 depending on the provision contravened.

“SMSF trustees should rectify any contraventions as soon as possible or they may face a penalty. In some cases these changes will impact the way SMSFs operate so for the ATO our focus will continue to be on education and support to ensure trustees understand the rules,” Deputy Commissioner Lendon said.

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