ATO releases updated guidelines on SMSF changes

The ATO has released updated guidelines for trustees around how to make changes to their SMSFs within a compliant framework.

The new guidelines contain details around what to do if members or member details change within an SMSF, when an SMSF needs to be restructured or wound up, and how trustees or directors can be removed or reinstated.

The ATO stated that it needed to be notified by trustees within 28 days if there was a change in trustees, corporate trustee directors, members, fund status or the contact number and address of the key person to which fund notices could be sent. It reminded trustees that they could not use their annual SMSF return as notification.

Trustees could notify the ATO of these changes online using the corporate key for their SMSF, through a registered agent, over the phone or manually using a change of details form.

The ATO also reminded trustees that they needed to ensure their fund remained within the legal definition of an SMSF, and if the fund no longer met this definition, it would either need to be restructured or wound up within six months. 

Inaction on the part of trustees could result in the ATO issuing a notice of non-compliance or disqualifying the relevant trustee.

If a trustee became a disqualified person, the ATO stated, they must immediately resign as a trustee and inform ASIC if they were a director of a corporate trustee, or face penalties.

The other trustees in the fund had six months from the disqualified trustee’s resignation to either roll the trustee’s benefits into an APRA-regulated fund, appoint an APRA-licensed trustee or wind up the fund entirely.

Trustees who had been disqualified due to a dishonesty offence could apply to have their conviction waived, while those disqualified by order of the ATO could apply for a review of the office’s decision.

Trustees disqualified due to being insolvent could not have their conviction waived but could be reinstated once they were no longer insolvent, the ATO said.

Source: SMSF Adviser