Super Fund Numbers – SPIN, SFN, USI, ESA

There are a number of numbers and identifiers relating to super funds, some of which are relevant for SMSFs, and some of which are not.

Looking for the SPIN, USI, SFN or ABN for a particular super fund. See if it’s on our list of super fund numbers.

SPIN – Superannuation Product Identification Number

As the standard choice form includes the question “Superannuation product identification number (if applicable)” SMSF professionals will often be asked, “What is my SMSFs SPIN number?”.

The Superannuation Product Identification Number (SPIN) is a number used in the financial services industry and by government bodies for electronic communication. The purpose of the SPIN was to provide an identifier at the product level, separate from those identifiers at the entity/legal structure level, such as the ABN or SFN. So a super fund may offer a retail superannuation plan and an employer superannuation plan and each of these would have a separate SPIN for identification purposes. The SPIN was used as part of the superannuation surcharge reporting, and now has some role in the SuperStream system, though this is partially superseded by the USI.

It was not intended that SMSFs have SPINs, and so instructions for forms asking for a SPIN often include ‘if applicable’ or include instructions to write “not applicable”

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End of the Financial Year for SMSFs: 2014

SMSF End of Financial Year EOY Tax TimeWith only a couple of weeks until the end of the 2014 financial year here are some issues you may wish to raise with your SMSF clients.

Minimum Pension Payments

With 2013/14 being the first year since 2008/09 that minimum pension payment rates for account-based pensions have returned to their standard rates, i.e. 4% for people under 65 SMSF trustees should ensure that they have paid at least the minimum pension payments. Failing to do so can mean the pension has ceased, any payments made are lump sums and the fund cannot claim Exempt Current Pension Income (ECPI). See the ATOs FAQ for Minimum pension payment requirements for details of when the Commissioner may allow the ECPI to be claimed even though the minimum payments weren’t made during the year.

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Changes in the 2014 SMSF Annual Return

SMSF & Superannuation 2013 2014 financial yearThe ATO has published the 2014 versions of the SMSF Annual Return and instructions, which include the following changes from the 2013 returns:

First required SMSF Annual Return?

Consistent with the  ATOs announcement that “this year, we are focussing on newly registered SMSFs, encouraging on-time lodgment of their first return” the following has been added to the front page of the SMSF Annual Return 2014:

B: “Is this the first required return for a newly registered SMSF”

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Disregarding Excess Non-Concessional Contributions

SMSF & Superannuation Rulings, Decisions, Cases and DeterminationsFollowing shortly after the announcement in the 2014 Federal Budget that there would be a change to allow for excess non-concessional contributions could be refunded from an SMSF comes a case from the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT) showing when such a change would benefit SMSF members.

In the case of Thompson and Commissioner of Taxation [2014] AATA 339 (29 May 2014) the decision asked to be reviews was if the Commissioner of Taxation had acted correctly in not disregarding excess non-concessional contributions.

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ATOs SMSF compliance focus

SMSF & Superannuation NewsIn the recently published speech to the SPAA national conference Alison Lendon, Acting Second ATO Commissioner, explained the ATOs SMSF compliance focus.

While acknowledging one of the roles of the ATO is to “ensure the health and security of this sector”, which Lendon thought was “in good shape”, the ATO does sometimes need to take “firmer actions”, such as those taken in 2012/13:

  • 150 SMSFs were made non-complying
  • 440 people were disqualified from being an SMSF trustee
  • 513 enforceable undertakings were entered
  • 70 funds were wound-up following audits
  • 438 funds were removed from the Super Fund Lookup database pending investigation for illegal early release schemes

However the ATO “usually prefer[s] to work with trustees and their advisers to rectify contraventions wherever appropriate”.

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ATOs new response to Auditor Contravention Reports

The ATO has announced a new system for responding to Auditor Contravention Reports and new penalties for SMSFs behind on lodgements of the Annual Return.

New ATO response to auditor contravention reports

The ATO has announced a change to the treatment of contraventions reported through the Auditor Contravention Report. Previously when a contravention report was received the ATO would send a letter confirming receipt of the report, but there could then be a significant amount of time, in some cases years, before an ATO audit commenced.

Under the new system the ATO uses ‘risk models’, which process information including “regulatory and income tax matters, … the SMSF annual return, ACRs and other data including trustee and members’ records”, to triage the auditor contravention reports into three risk categories, high, medium and low risk.

High risk reports will result in comprehensive ATO audits which will “scrutinise all regulatory and income tax risks displayed by the fund”.

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Current State of Superannuation Changes 2014: May

Superannuation Legislation & UpdatesAn update of superannuation changes 2014 for the month of May, including the current state of superannuation changes passed, working their way through parliament, or un-legislated.

Treasurer Joe Hockey caused some speculation that there will be further changes to superannuation in his appearance on Q&A, but quickly returned to the line of  no “adverse changes in superannuation in this term of government” in a press conference the next day. However he did leave the option open of future changes, saying “if there’s any changes they will be, obviously, on the horizon”.

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SuperStream for contributions delayed ‘up to’ 1 July 2015

SMSF & Superannuation NewsThe government announced  yesterday (the 26th of May)  that superannuation funds would have up-to 1 July 2015 to comply with the new SuperStream standards for sending and receiving electronic contributions data.

In a media release the Acting Assistant Treasurer Mathias Cormann said the change “increased flexibility for the superannuation industry as it continues to make the necessary changes to implement the SuperStream contributions data standards” and that “superannuation funds will have up to 1 July 2015 to meet the new standards”.

However the media release appears to be an over-simplification of the changes to the SuperStream standards. While the change may provide “increased flexibility” it will also likely result in confusion for SMSF trustees, with just over one month until the previous implementation date.

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