ATO: SMSF voluntary disclosure service
The ATO has released information about the advantage of letting the ATO know of any issues or mistakes made in managing a SMSF as soon as possible. The ATO says that its “SMSF early engagement and voluntary disclosure” service allows any relevant person to inform it about a contravention that has occurred at any time, rather than waiting for the auditor to tell the ATO after the financial year has ended. To lodge a voluntary disclosure, an SMSF regulatory contravention disclosure form must be completed. The ATO says that a person’s tax agent can lodge the form on their behalf or it can be lodged via the secure mail function in Online services for business or by post or email.

Australia signs first DTA with Iceland
The Government has advised that it has signed a new tax treaty with Iceland, the first of its kind between the two nations. Once in force, the treaty will facilitate cross‑border trade and investment and enhance the economic relationship between Australia and Iceland. The treaty also gives effect to the G20/OECD Base Erosion and Profit Shifting recommendations. Once the domestic implementation requirements have been completed the treaty will enter into force. A summary of the main features of the new treaty is availableon the Treasury website.

“Promissory estoppel” applied to change super entitlements 
In a matter involving the application of the principle of “promissory estoppel”, the stepsons of a deceased father-in-law have been awarded over $200,000 by the NSW Supreme Court. The award was made on the basis that their late father-in-law had made verbal representations that the stepsons would receive his superannuation upon his death if they did not make a claim against their late mother’s superannuation. However, after these representations were made, the father-in-law changed his will (which included his super entitlements) to leave it to other parties (including his children from a prior marriage). In these circumstances, the Court held that the earlier representations made by the father-in-law were enforceable pursuant to the doctrine of “promissory estoppel”. (Lucas v Salman [2022] NSWSC 1301, 28 September 2022.)