The ATO has announced that it has extended to 30 June 2017 the due date for lodgement of the SMSF Annual Return for the 2015/16 financial year.
ATO Deputy Commissioner James O’Halloran said this decision was made as a result of feedback from professional and industry representatives, seemingly related to the changes from the 2016 Budget applying from 1 July 2017.
“We have heard that many accounting and advisory firms are stretched to meet their usual annual SMSF lodgment commitments, in addition to providing advice to their clients about the superannuation changes taking effect on 1 July,” he said.
“Accountants, tax agents and SMSF advisers play a key role in ensuring that their SMSF clients are ready for the changes on 1 July. They will ensure their clients are in the best position to make informed decisions about their superannuation savings in light of the changes.”
“Recognising this is a crucial transition period for the SMSF sector as we head towards the most significant superannuation reforms for several years, we have extended the lodgment due date for 2015-16 SMSF annual returns.”
“The ATO has taken this step to reduce some of the burden of compliance work so that accountants, tax agents and SMSF advisers can focus on providing appropriate advisory services to their SMSF clients ahead of the changes.”
“We acknowledge and appreciate the ongoing support tax professionals and SMSF advisers provide, especially at this important time for the sector and the broader superannuation industry.”
The extension by the ATO has been welcomed by the SMSF Association.
“We welcome this flexible approach being taken by the ATO,” said Association CEO John Maroney.
“It is a pressing time for accountants, tax agents and SMSF specialist advisors due to the complexity of the changes taking effect on 1 July, and the ATO’s decision acknowledges this.”
“This extension will give advisors, who have the onerous responsibility of helping trustees comply with the current legislation, the time to plan, prepare and advise their clients about the upcoming changes during this crucial transition period.”
“The extra time will allow SMSF trustees to make well informed decisions instead of hasty ones.”