Tax Office looks to real-time reporting for next year

In response to budgetary measures related to superannuation, the ATO is eyeing real-time reporting in the SMSF sector for the next financial year.

Super funds may soon be required to report things such as pension commencements and commutations in real time to comply with new budgetary measures.

The ATO explained at the SMSF Adviser Technical Strategy Day in Melbourne this week that it has proposed a model for all superannuation funds, including SMSFs, to report information necessary to manage proposals such as the transfer balance cap on an events basis – that is, in real time.

“So effectively, for example, for the transfer balance cap, [SMSFs] would report details of credits within a fortnight of the event reporting,” ATO assistant commissioner Kasey Macfarlane told AccountantsDaily's sister publication SMSF Adviser.

“However, having said that, for the 2017-18 year effectively it is a time of transition as we transition to that proposed model. So what will actually happen is that in 2017-18, and no later than when an SMSF lodges its annual return, they will need to report relevant information that impacts on their transfer balance cap,” Ms Macfarlane said.

While this is pencilled in for the 2017-18 financial year, the ATO acknowledges the difficulties tax agents will face in obtaining information, such as valuations, ahead of the SMSF annual return reporting timeline.

Ms Macfarlane stressed that the ATO is undertaking targeted consulting with the industry and that this model remains a proposal at the moment. She intends to work closely with the SMSF sector in the lead-up to implementation.

In the meantime, she said, SMSF trustees should consider changing their practices and bringing forward the timing in which they seek, for example, valuations, so that they are in the “best position” to comply with the new requirements and can take advantage of any transitional concessions that are available.

The ATO will soon release further guidance on the proposals currently before Parliament, in the form of a law companion guideline.

 

 

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