The Australian Taxation Office has deferred lodgement of self-managed super fund annual returns. The ATO says returns due on 15 May and 5 June are now due on 30 June.
The tax office says there is no need for a trustee of their tax agent to request a deferral. The new date applies to all SMSFs automatically.
The deferral will be a welcome breather for some trustees after the Australian Securities and Investments Commission issued a warning that they should check whether their auditor is registered and whether there are any conditions on the registration.
All SMSFs must have their financial accounts audited each year by an approved auditor. The auditor must assess the fund’s compliance with superannuation law and regulations.
ASIC is conducting one of its regular crackdowns on SMSF auditors, announcing last week that it has taken action to disqualify, suspend or add conditions to the registration of a number of practitioners.
Since 2013, auditors of SMSFs have had to be registered with ASIC, which sets competency and administrative standards.
The regulator says auditors have failed to meet independence standards, not complied with requirements for continuing professional development and otherwise not be “fit and proper”.
A Queensland auditor, Kent Hacker, was disqualified for independence breaches, deficiencies in asset valuations and failure to meet arm’s-length transaction requirements. He also failed to comply with undertakings given to the ATO.
Trustees can check their auditor’s bona fides on ASIC’s online SMSF auditor register.
In December the Australian Taxation Office revealed the results of its audit of 51 of the top 100 SMSF auditors. Only 10 auditors were found to be fully compliant.
Independence breaches are a common problem. According to the Joint Accounting Bodies’ Independence Guide, auditors must not be related parties of their assurance clients.
The ATO also advises that auditors need to have performed audit work regularly to maintain the practical experience necessary to do their job properly.
It says SMSF auditors are required to maintain their practical experience as well as continuous professional development. They must also have up to date professional insurance.