Changes in the 2019 SMSF Annual Return

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The 2019 SMSF Annual Return includes a number of changes compared to 2018, including for qualified audits, the downsizer contribution and LRBAs.

Was the audit report qualified?

The 2019 Annual Return asks if Part A and if Part B of the audit report was qualified. Part A is the financial report and Part B is the compliance report. Prior years have only asked about Part B.

Peter Burgess, General Manager Technical Services & Education with SuperConcepts, suggested this change was related to the unlegislated proposal for 3 year audits for some SMSFs. Though the Government is still considering moving forward with this change.

Downsizer contribution

The ATO has added labels to the Member Information section for the downsizer contribution – which allows some older people to make super contributions from the proceeds of the sale of their home. The question asks for the “proceeds from primary residence disposal” and “receipt date”.

Outstanding LRBA

Also added to the Member Information section is a question asking for the “outstanding limited recourse borrowing arrangement amount”.

This label is likely related by attempts to change the law so that in certain circumstances the amount of LRBAs can be included in a members’ Total Superannuation Balance. Though the legislation to do this – the Treasury Laws Amendment (2018 Superannuation Measures No. 1) Bill 2018 – was stalled in the Senate since June 2018, and lapsed with the end of the last Parliament.

Crypto-currency assets

A label has been added to the Assets and Liabilities section, asking about holdings of crypto-currency.

Other changes

The ATO has also made some other tweaks to the 2019 SMSF Annual Return, including for electronics funds transfer and adding: “The SMSF annual return cannot be used to notify us of a change in fund membership. You must update fund details via or complete the Change of details for superannuation entities form (NAT 3036).”

Instructions on how to complete the SMSF annual return for 2019 are available on the ATO website (though not as a pdf).

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