ATO taking action on overdue SMSF annual returns

The ATO is taking a number of actions against SMSFs with overdue SMSF annual returns.

The ATO said it was tacking a “tougher stance” on SMSFs with overdue SMSF annual returns, particularly funds with two or more overdue returns.

Actions the tax office is taking currently include cancelling approximately 9,000 ABNs for SMSFs that show no evidence of operating.

The ATO says it has been calling tax agents to arrange an agreed date for lodgement, and visiting others to get feedback on why their SMSF clients’ returns are overdue. The ATO is also writing to SMSFs in pension phase to remind them that they still have a lodgement obligation.

SMSFs with high levels of income or assets and overdue returns continue to attract the attention of the ATO, which is also “taking further compliance and audit action on selected SMSFs”.

“While trustees are responsible for their SMSF, tax agents also play a key role in supporting SMSFs to meet their obligations and avoid incurring penalties or the loss of tax concessions,” said the ATO.

“SMSFs that don’t meet the agreed lodgment timeframes will be subject to serious financial implications.”

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