SMSF Regulator’s Bulletin a helpful tool for professionals and trustees

The SMSF Regulator’s Bulletin is a “helpful tool” for SMSF advisers and trustees, says the SMSF Association.

The SMSF Regulator’s Bulletin (SMSFRB) is a new ATO guidance product about SMSFs. The ATO says SMSFRB’s will “provide targeted and timely updates about new, or emerging, superannuation regulatory and income tax arrangements that pose potential compliance risks for the SMSF sector”.

The first, and as yet only, Bulletin issued is on the topic of reserves: ATO issues official warning on SMSF use of reserves: SMSFRB 2018/1

The SMSF Association has welcomed the new guidance product. CEO John Maroney said: “We’re extremely supportive of this initiative to provide targeted updates about compliance issues, with the first bulletin, about how the ATO expects the use of reserves by SMSFs to only occur in limited circumstances, a good starting point.”

“We believe this is an excellent example of a regulator being proactive in guiding behavior without needing to go as far as taking compliance action.”

“More specifically, in this bulletin the ATO draws attention to the use of reserves to circumvent the measures announced in the 2016-17 Budget, and offers timely advice to trustees and advisers on this issue and, importantly, how to remain complaint.”

“Certainly, the Association concurs with the ATO’s view that the use of reserves by SMSFs should only be for specific and legitimate purposes.”

According to Maroney the SMSF Association intends to work with the ATO to explore legislative solutions to allow SMSFs with large existing reserves to allocate these amounts more timely and effectively then allowed under current legislation.

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