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ATO reporting change set to alter client, accountant dynamic

A looming new reporting requirement for wealthy clients will see a spike in how often accountants, tax agents and their clients need to interact, according to the ATO.

News Katarina Taurian 21 August 2017
— 1 minute read

From 1 July 2018, accountants with SMSF clients will be required to report events which impact on a member’s $1.6 million transfer balance account in real time.

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Despite industry speculation, the only events that are required to be reported on a more regular basis are related to the transfer balance cap — not investment earnings, investment gains, or investment losses.

ATO assistant commissioner Kasey Macfarlane said the tax office recognises this is a “significant change” for tax agents, accountants and their SMSF clients.

“We recognise that this change… does impact on the dynamic in particular of tax agents and accountants with their SMSF clients,” she told Accountants Daily.

“SMSF [clients] now might only turn up once a year to get their SMSF return undertaken. This model will require more communication between tax agents, accountants and their clients. Clients will need to be working more closely with them to make sure all those events are reported,” she said.

Ms Macfarlane is also confident that the ATO’s troublesome digital systems will be able to cope with the increased volume of reporting from super funds, starting with APRA funds in October this year.

“We’ve been preparing for this for some time, not just for SMSFs, for large APRA funds as well. We’ve been working on the design, infrastructure and IT side of things,” she said.

“I am confident that, as planned from October this year, our systems will be ready and able to receive that reported information from large APRA funds, and any SMSFs that want to report more regularly before 1 July 2018,” she said.

ATO reporting change set to alter client, accountant dynamic
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