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ATO provides update on SAR lodgements

The Tax Office has revealed a number of changes to its SMSF annual return (SAR) form for 2020 as well as warned trustees of the impending deadline for lodgement for the 2018–19 form.

SMSF Adrian Flores 16 March 2020
— 1 minute read

The ATO announced its SMSF SAR for 2020 will be available at the end of May.


Changes to the SAR for 2020 include:

New label - Property Count

The ATO has added a label called Property Count to Section H, Assets and Liabilities.

“This label will report the number of real properties your SMSF holds investments in that were held in trust as security under a limited recourse borrowing arrangement,” it said.

Label removed - Anti-Detriment/Death Benefit Increase Deduction

The ATO said that, from 1 July 2019, SMSFs can no longer claim a deduction for a tax saving amount paid on the death of a member.

As a result, it said the Death Benefit Increase Deduction label has been removed.

“This change will ensure consistent treatment of lump sum death benefits across all super funds,” the ATO said.

Change to auditor qualification question

Trustees will be able to report “No” at Part A qualification Label A when the audit report was qualified as a result of the auditor not being able to obtain sufficient audit evidence with respect to the SMSF’s opening balances, the ATO said.

It added that reporting whether issue/s have been rectified or not now applies to Part B qualifications only.

Update on the 2018–19 SAR

The due date for the 2018–19 SAR for most SMSFs is Friday, 15 May 2020, the ATO said.

It warned trustees that they need to engage an approved auditor before the end of March to ensure their fund receives an audit in time to meet this lodgement deadline.

The regulator noted that non-lodgement, combined with disengagement, indicates to it that members’ retirement savings may be at risk.

“If your SMSF is more than two weeks overdue on any annual return lodgement due date and you haven’t requested a deferral, we will change the status of the SMSF on Super Fund Lookup (SFLU) to ‘Regulation details removed’. This status will remain until any overdue lodgements have been brought up to date,” the ATO said.

For SMSFs with a status of “Regulation details removed”, it means that APRA funds won’t roll over any member benefits to the SMSF.

In addition, employers won’t be able to make any super guarantee contribution payments for members of the SMSF.

However, the ATO noted that the 15 May deadline for SAR lodgement will not apply to some SMSFs, including those:

  • with a business or postal address in an identified bushfire-impacted postcode.
  • that were non-taxable or received a refund by latest year lodged and are non-taxable or will receive a refund in the current year (excluding large/medium taxpayers or funds with an earlier due date).
ATO provides update on SAR lodgements
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