The ATO has made SMSF changes to information to protect your retirement savings and mitigate the risk of fraud and misconduct. The ATO will send you an email or text message alert when:
- a super fund certifies your details prior to a rollover to an SMSF
- you register a new SMSF
- you change your current SMSFs
- you change your financial institution account details
- you change your electronic service address (ESA)
- you change your authorised contact
- you change your members
If you have yet to authorise or are unaware of the changes outlined in an alert the ATO have sent you, there are steps you should take.
The ATO will send you a notification when a super fund utilises the SMSF verification service (SVS) to verify details, intending to roll your current super benefits into that SMSF. Funds may utilise this service several times for a single rollover request so that you may receive multiple alerts.
If you receive an alert:
- And are aware of the rollover request then you do not need to do
- anything. If you did not request a rollover to an SMSF, or more information is required then you will need to contact your existing super fund/s immediately. Rollovers through SuperStream can be processed in only three business days.
If you are unaware of a new SMSF registered to you, or changes made to your current SMSF as described in an alert, you should contact the following:
- the other directors or trustees of the corporate trustee of your SMSF
- other representatives permitted to make changes to your SMSF, for example, your tax agent
If you are concerned that an SMSF has been established, or alterations have been made to your existing SMSF inaccurately or without your permission, phone us on 13 10 20 between 8.00 am and 6.00 pm, Monday to Friday. Before you contact the ATO, ensure you have your TFN or ABN ready to prove your identity.
ATO notifications alerts will never require you to reply by text or email or provide personal information such as your TFN, bank account number, or BSB.
Ensure your mobile phone and email details are updated with us so that you receive ATO alerts.
Please advise us of changes.
As a trustee of an SMSF, you must notify us within 28 days if there is a change in:
- directors of the corporate trustee
- fund status
- address (postal or registered addres or address for service of fund notices)
- contact details (contact person, email address, phone and fax numbers)
You can update these details of your SMSF:
- online through the Australian Business Register External Link
- via a registered agent
- by phone 13 10 20. However, you must be the authorised contact for your SMSF
- by the lodging, the paper form Change details for superannuation entities (NAT 3036, PDF 1.01MB). This link will download the file.
You can amend your fund’s tax refund account, financial institution account details or electronic service address (ESA) using one of the following methods:
- via Online services for business
- by contacting us
- by contacting your tax agent
Additionally, you can update the ESA by submitting the paper form Change of details for superannuation entities (NAT 3036, PDF 1.01MB). This link will download the file.
You cannot use the SMSF annual return to inform us regarding a change in the structure of your SMSF.
Alerts for SMSF changes
To protect your retirement savings and mitigate the risk of misconduct and fraud, the ATO send you an email or text notification (or both) when you change your SMSFs:
- Financial institution account details
- authorised contact
If you did not authorise or are not aware of the changes delineated in a notification that the ATO sent you, you must find out what immediate steps you are required to take.
Adding a new member or trustee
Part of our new registrant program is that we may review new members and trustees if the ATO find a reason to. The SMSF is taken offline if you add a new trustee or member, and the ATO initiate a review. The ATO endeavour to finalise these reviews within 56 days, which is one of the numerous actions they are taking to protect the Australians’ retirement.
The ATO evaluate all SMSFs that transition from an individual trustee structure to a corporate trustee structure as an element of the ATO ‘secure front door’ process. If you change the structure of your SMSF, it may be taken offline whilst the review is conducted.
Keeping within the definition of an SMSF
As a trustee, you must certify that your fund always adheres to the legal definition of an SMSF.
Should your SMSF no longer meet the definition of an SMSF, you have six months to:
- restructure your fund to meet the definition of an SMSF; or
- voluntarily wind up your SMSF and roll the benefits into an Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA) regulated fund.
If you do not take any action, the ATO may take steps to:
- make your fund non-compliant
- disqualify you as a trustee.
SMSF changes to the status of the corporate trustee
If your corporate trustee incurs any of the following, you must restructure the fund:
- The company becomes aware or has reasonable grounds to surmise that a person who is acting or is acting as, a responsible officer of the company, is a disqualified person.
- The Australian Securities & Investments Commission External Link (ASIC) has deregistered the company.
- A receiver, or a receiver and manager, is appointed regarding property beneficially owned by the company.
- A provisional liquidator or restructuring practitioner in the company is appointed.
- An administrator is appointed in respect of the company.
- Action has initiated the wind up of the company.
Restructuring the fund could involve:
- appointing a new company to operate as trustee
- re-registration of the company
- changing the fund structure to individual trustees.
This process can be complex. Talk to ASIC to ensure you can transfer assets vested with the corporate trustee to the new individuals in trust or entity for the fund.
Find out more on the effects of deregistration.
Removing yourself as a director or trustee
If you become a disqualified person, you need to immediately:
- please notify us of your disqualification (unless the ATO have disqualified you)
- cease your role a trustee.
If you are the director of a corporate trustee, you may subsequently have obligations to inform ASIC.
Penalties pertain if you act as a trustee or director whilst disqualified. In addition, other trustees are responsible for preventing you from acting as a trustee if they know you are disqualified.
If you resign as a trustee, your SMSF has six months to restructure itself. Generally, this will mean rolling your superannuation interest outside of the fund.
The other directors or trustees can:
- roll over your benefits to a different complying super fund
- appoint an approved trustee who holds an APRA licence (that is, become a small APRA fund)
- wind up the fund by rolling all of the members’ benefits out of the fund.
If you are the sole member of the fund and the sole director of the fund’s corporate trustee, contact us for advice on what steps you need to take.
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