SMSF assist: ATO answers to SMSF trustee questions

Nest egg, superannuaiton, SMSF, retirement
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ATO SMSF assistThe ATO has released a new service, called SMSF assist, to provide information about SMSFs to trustees.

SMSF Assist Topics:

  • thinking about self-managed super
  • setting up an SMSF
  • contributions
  • investments
  • administration and reporting
  • benefit payments
  • wind ups

SMSF Assist was previously discussed in ATO SMSF news edition 31:

“SMSF Assist will provide trustees with relevant information in response to their queries on a wide range of SMSF topics. Information will be based on common scenarios and questions about SMSFs – a good starting point for trustees seeking information about fund management and their responsibilities. SMSF Assist will enable trustees to interact with us at a time that is convenient to them and be provided with timely and consistent advice.”

In its current form SMSF assist is really more of a different way to access information available on the ATO website rather than actually answering questions.

On most topics SMSF assist displays a short description of the issue with links to other articles, including the ATOs growing series of YouTube videos.

Search could be improved

It appears that SMSF assist searches the question for keywords and displays related articles. However the search could be improved. For example the search “can an SMSF invest in art” displays an article about collectables. However the following questions find no answers:

  • When does an SMSF need to revalue collectables?
  • Where can an SMSF store a painting?
  • Can an SMSF buy coins?

Instead SMSF Assist displays:

We couldn’t find that.

Alternatively, select a topic from the above list or try…
Self-managed super funds overview”

In all SMSF Assist is a useful tool, which the ATO will hopefully work to improve. However this shouldn’t come a the cost of more detailed information on the ATO website.

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