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18 Mar 2021 Superannuation

Highlights: SMSF quarterly statistical report December 2020

The ATO has published its Self-managed super fund quarterly statistical report – December 2020. The report provides the latest statistics on the SMSF sector.

Highlights include:

  • There are 593,790 SMSFs.
  • There are 1,114,972 members of SMSFs.
  • The estimated total value of assets held by SMSFs are just over $764 billion.
  • The top asset types held by SMSFs (by value) are listed shares (27% of total estimated SMSF assets) and cash and term deposits (20%).
  • 53% of SMSF members are male and 47% are female.
  • 86% of SMSF members are 45 years or older.

The full report can be found here.

ATO guidance on independence standards now available for SMSF auditors

Approved SMSF auditors must comply with independence requirements as part of their professional obligations under the superannuation laws.

The ATO has published detailed guidance on the independence standards. The guidance will assist approved SMSF auditors and other tax professionals with how to comply with the independence standards in APES 110 Code of Ethics for Professional Accountants (including Independence Standards) (2018) (the Code), which became effective on 1 January 2020. The content covers both general independence requirements and specific issues of concern to industry such as the rules relating to in-house audits and our compliance approach.

The ATO’s guidance can be found here.

Exclude COVID-19 ERS payments from PAYG reporting

In preparation for the annual pay as you go (PAYG) reporting, funds should ensure their systems do not include COVID-19 early release of superannuation (ERS) payments.

More information can be found here.

Ensure your SMSF has a unique bank account

You need to open a bank account in your fund’s name to manage the fund’s operations and accept contributions, rollovers of super and income from investments. This account is used to pay the fund’s expenses and liabilities.

As a trustee, you need to make sure your SMSF has a bank account that is unique to the SMSF and recorded correctly with the ATO.

More information can be found here.

SuperStream Rollover v3

From 31 March 2021, the SuperStream Rollover message will be extended to include SMSFs and digital release authorities. The transition period for implementation and onboarding to SuperStream Rollover v3 is from 31 March 2021 to 30 September 2021.

More information can be found here.

SMSF trustees targeted by illegal schemes

The ATO has identified a new scheme where SMSF trustees were informed that they can set up a new SMSF to roll-over the fund balance from the old SMSF and then liquidate their old SMSF in an attempt to avoid paying potential tax liabilities.

Taking part in this arrangement and others like it can result in civil and criminal actions and could ultimately put your retirement savings at risk.

More information can be found here.

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