Self-managed super funds

Recognising the key role of Australia's 577,000 self-managed super funds (SMSFs) – which account for around 29.5% of the $2.1 trillion in superannuation assets under active management – the ATO, as regulator, provides a full range of support services to help trustees understand and comply with their obligations.

In April 2016, we released a practical compliance guide setting out ‘safe harbour’ terms on which SMSF trustees may structure limited recourse borrowing arrangements consistent with an arm’s length dealing – providing certainty for SMSF trustees. The guide was developed in collaboration with industry representatives.

We also introduced a new service providing a single entry point for SMSF trustees and professionals to engage early with us and voluntarily disclose unrectified contraventions. The outcome in those cases is likely to be much more favourable for trustees than if it is left to the ATO to detect a contravention through an audit or review.

The SMSF independent audit is a key factor in ensuring the ongoing regulatory integrity of the SMSF sector, and we provide tools and services to support SMSF auditors in their role. During the year, we conducted webinars to update SMSF auditors about events and activities that affect them, and reviewed the auditor reporting instructions to provide greater clarity.