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SuperStream issues mean ATO should tread softly: SMSF industry

Super

With the office likely to be “bombarded” with breaches, the SMSF industry hopes it will take an “educative approach”.

By Miranda Brownlee 9 minute read

It’s unclear how the ATO would respond to future breaches of SuperStream standards given the issues with the system, said ASF Audits head of education Shelley Banton at a recent event in Sydney, but she hoped it might take an “educative approach”.

Ms Banton said SMSF auditors did not have any discretion where a fund had failed the SuperStream payment standards and would be forced to lodge an auditor contravention report where there was a breach of r6.17 SISR.

“Let’s be honest, the ATO is going to be bombarded with these [contraventions] and there’s not a lot we can do about that,” Ms Banton said at the SMSF Adviser Technical Strategy Day.

“Everyone is still trying to find their own way, including the ATO and trying to work out exactly where the mischief is. Obviously SuperStream has been put in place to minimise and reduce that mischief down to zero in terms of having everything electronically validated.”

Ms Banton said while the ATO certainly had its own ideas of how that would play out, it was aware of all the teething problems.

“I don’t think in this first year that [the ATO] would be looking to penalise trustees as a result of what’s happened,” she said.

In terms of what auditors would be looking to see, Ms Banton said they would want to check that the money has come out of the bank account in time, the completion notice that's come from the software, and — potentially — a minute from the trustees’ point of view stating that they had complied with the SuperStream requirements.

Ms Banton said the ATO, SMSF Association, and APRA-regulated super funds had all been working together to rectify some of the issues and make the system work as efficiently as possible.

In a recent CFS FirstTech podcast, SMSF Association deputy chief executive Peter Burgess said the body was working with both the ATO and the APRA-funds to improve the flow of information where errors occurred on SuperStream.

One of the key issues being encountered by SMSFs, explained Mr Burgess, was where a message has been sent to an APRA fund and it had failed or been rejected, there was very limited information provided on why it had failed.

“We are working with the APRA funds and the ATO to try and resolve that so that we get more information back when a message actually fails, so we know what to do to fix it.”

 

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