The ATO has reminded SMSF trustees of the advantages they will have, including when it comes to penalty consideration, if they are upfront about unrectified contraventions.
ATO encourages early engagement
SMSF trustees can come forward to the ATO with unrectified contraventions via the voluntary disclosure service. This service is effectively a single entry point for SMSF trustees and professionals to engage early with the ATO where a fund has such contraventions.
If SMSF trustees opt to voluntarily disclose, this action will be taken into account when determining the enforcement action to be taken and the appropriate level of remission of administrative penalties.
As part of the process, the trustee is required to provide the ATO with all relevant facts, supporting documentation and a rectification proposal or proposed enforceable undertaking.
The trustee should actively engage with the ATO throughout the resolution process.
The superannuation division of the ATO generally encourages a consultative approach with the SMSF sector, and has reiterated in the past that being upfront about potential compliance issues ultimately can be beneficial for the trustees and the fund.