Draft legislation proposing to raise the charge 14 per cent risks discouraging applications, they say.
Scrap SMSF auditor registration fee: accounting bodies
The fee imposed for SMSF auditor registration risks discouraging applications and is an outlier at five times the amount set for registered company auditors, the accounting bodies say.
Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand (CA ANZ), CPA Australia and the IPA have opposed draft legislation that would increase by 14 per cent the approved SMSF auditor registration fee, lifting it to $2,191 from the current $1,927.
“We continue to not support the imposition of a fee for registration as an approved SMSF auditor, and so do not support the proposed increase,” the bodies said in a joint submission to Treasury.
“We are concerned that the quantum of the fee could discourage new SMSF auditor applications.”
The submission said the fee was five times higher than the charge for a registered company auditor, and “Treasury’s clarification of this apparent anomaly would be appreciated”.
It said the ATO already charged an annual SMSF supervisory levy of $259 per fund to cover its supervisory activities, including referrals of SMSF auditor breaches to ASIC.
“It would therefore be inappropriate if the SMSF auditor registration fee included any amounts in relation to this ATO supervisory work.
“If the fee for registration as an approved SMSF auditor does genuinely reflect the processing costs of these applications, then we consider that a fundamental review of the application process is warranted.”
The draft legislation, issued last month, also proposes changing other SMSF auditors charges including the fee to cancel an SMSF auditor registration, which would be reduced from the current $899 down to $193.
It also slightly reduces the fee for applying for conditions imposed on a registration to be varied or revoked under section 128D of the SIS Act.
The accounting bodies’ submission strongly supported a reduction in the fee charged for cancelling an SMSF auditor registration.