SMSFs should consider digital capability ahead of SuperStream changes

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The ATO is encouraging SMSF trustees and professionals to consider how ready they are to transact digitally, in light of the plan to extend SuperStream for rollovers to SMSFs.

ATO Assistant Commissioner for Superannuation Dana Fleming told the SMSF Association Technical Day in Brisbane that extending SuperStream rollovers to SMSFs was a “major” reform for the industry.

Related: SuperStream for rollovers to be extended to SMSFs in 2019

Under the change SMSFs will be able to make and receive rollovers electronically, whereas this is currently limited to rollovers between large super funds. The proposed regulations have the new systems starting on 30 November 2019.

“We are working very closely with industry, in both the design and implementation build, to ensure that all concerns are addressed,” Fleming said.

The benefits of the change include reduced compliance costs, but the biggest “win” was that rollovers could occur in days instead of months.

The conference was told it would also improve the integrity of the super system, by making use of the Fund Validation Service mandatory for SMSFs. Currently this is only required for APRA-regulated funds.

“If you or your clients are wanting to participate in the process, you will have to consider your ability to interact digitally,” Fleming said, and SMSFs will need a need an Electronic Service Address (ESA).

“So there is a moment to pause and consider: do you want to be part of this process, and what is your clients’ digital capability to participate in the system?”

“A lot of exciting work is being done in the digitisation space: lots of automation, streamlining of reporting – which is reducing costs for members, and it does also increase visibility and transparency for them over the operations of the self manged super fund.”

“The ability of business, funds, and government agencies to interact digitally is an increasing focus, and I encourage you all to think about how your self managed super fund clients and you would like to be prepared.”

2016/17 SMSF lodgements a “great result”

There was some concern that SMSF lodgements were lagging behind earlier years, and the ATO had extended the due date for SMSF Annual Returns. But Fleming told the conference that, as of 30 July 2018, 90% of SMSFs that had lodged a 2016/17 return were on time, which is largely in line with the prior year and a “really great result”.

A “very early analysis” indicates that approximately 44,000 SMSFs chose to claim the transitional CGT relief.

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