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 available on 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.)



SMSF: Tax agents banned for incorrect annual audits
The Tax Practitioners Board advised that it has terminated the registration of 2 tax agents who prepared and lodged SMSF annual returns with incorrect details about the funds’ annual audit. The tax agents falsely stated audits had been completed and were found to have acted dishonestly. They have been banned from practice as they no longer meet the tax practitioner registration requirement of being a fit and proper person. One of the tax agents lodged over 90 SMSF annual returns for more than 20 clients, including falsifying auditor details indicating that the funds had been audited. However, the auditor advised that they had not audited the funds. The tax agent was also found to have misled clients by advising them their SMSFs had been audited, and charging them for the audit, even though an audit had not been completed.

Super Guarantee: exclusion for grant payments to aged care nurses
The Superannuation Guarantee (Administration) Amendment (Aged Care Registered Nurses’ Payment) Regulations 2022 have been registered. They amend the Superannuation Guarantee (Administration) Regulations 2018 to ensure that an employer is not required to make additional superannuation contributions as a result of a payment paid to an employee under the Aged Care Registered Nurses’ Payment to reward clinical skills and leadership. The Regulations apply to payments made on or after 1 November 2022.

APRA letter on the revocation of superannuation standards
APRA has issued a letter to all registrable superannuation entity (RSE) licensees on the revocation of superannuation standards. The letter follows APRA’s Response Paper to consultation on Superannuation Data Transformation (SDT) Phase 2, which was released on 29 August 2022. The paper outlined the next steps for pre-SDT reporting standards that overlap with Phase 1 reporting standards to reduce duplicate reporting from industry.

Leg instrument re calculating the tax free component of military benefits
The ATO has made the following legislative instrument:Income Tax: Alternative method for calculating the tax free component and taxable component of a superannuation benefit paid during the 2022–23 financial year for recipients of certain pensions under the Defence Force Retirement and Death Benefits Act 1973 and the Trust Deed referred to in section 4 of the Military Superannuation and Benefits Act 1991It revokes the former instrument and specifies an alternative method for calculating the tax free component and taxable component of a superannuation benefit paid during the 2022–23 financial year that is a superannuation lump sum.



Reminder: Director ID deadline – 30 November 2022
The Government is launching a new awareness campaign to help company directors get their director identification number (director ID) as the 30 November deadline approaches. All directors of companies registered with ASIC will need a director ID and must apply by the 30 November deadline. However, directors of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander corporations may have additional time to apply. Tax and Super Comment: The following table sets out the relevant dates by which directors must obtain a director ID:

Date you were appointed a director Date you must apply for a director ID
On or before 31 October 2021 By 30 November 2022
Between 1 November 2021 and 4 April 2022 Within 28 days of appointment
From 5 April 2022 Before appointment
Note also that all directors of a company are required to obtain a Director ID by the due date. It is not sufficient that one of the company directors obtains a Director ID and the other directors do not. This is particularly relevant to “Mum & Dad” companies. It is not sufficient if only Dad gets a Director ID. Where both are directors, both Mum & Dad each need to obtain a Director ID.

ATO: Record keeping requirement for small businesses
The ATO has reminded small business taxpayers of the need to keep appropriate records. In this regard, it states that there are 5 rules that should be followed: keep all records related to starting, running, changing, and selling or closing your business that are relevant to your tax and super affairs; store records safely to prevent damage and protect information from being changed; keep most records for 5 years (eg keep records of losses for up to 5 years after they have been fully claimed the loss); be able to show the ATO the records if it asks for them; and ensure the records are in English or easily converted to English.

APRA: Revocation of certain super standards
In APRA’s Response Paper to consultation on Superannuation Data Transformation (SDT) Phase 2 which was released on 29 August 2022, APRA has outlined the next steps for pre-SDT reporting standards that overlap with Phase 1 reporting standards to reduce duplicate reporting from industry. Among other things, APRA has advised that: for Reporting Standard SRS 533.1 Asset Allocation and Member Benefit Flows (SRS 533.1) the period ending 30 June 2022 will be the last reporting period; under Reporting Standard SRS 703.0 Fees Disclosed (SRS 703.0), RSE licensees are required to report any changes within 28 calendar days of a change to information reported on the SRF 703.0 form, with the last annual reporting period ending on 30 June 2022; and under Reporting Standard SRS 250.0 Acquired Insurance (SRS 250.0), the period ending 30 June 2022 will be the last reporting period.

Value of goods taken from stock for private use for 2022-23 year
The ATO has released TD 2022/15 Income tax: value of goods taken from stock for private use for the 2022-23 income year. It provides an update of amounts that the Commissioner will accept as estimates of the value of goods taken from trading stock for private use by taxpayers in named industries. At the same time, TD 2017/9 Income tax: value of goods taken from stock for private use for the 2016-17 income year has been withdrawn from as its period of effect has passed.

Super: Meaning of “OTE” and “salary or wages” amended
The ATO has amended SGR 2009/2 Superannuation guarantee: meaning of the terms ‘ordinary time earnings’ and ‘salary or wages’  to reflect the repeal of the Superannuation Guarantee (Administration) Regulations 1993 and its remake via Regulations made in 2018. Amendments have also been made to reflect the removal of the $450 per month salary or wages threshold for the purposes of calculating an individual superannuation guarantee shortfall, for the quarter commencing 1 July 2022 onwards.

SG Determination withdrawn – no longer current
Superannuation Guarantee Determination SGD 2003/5 Superannuation guarantee: how do the exclusions under ss 27 and 28 of the Superannuation Guarantee (Administration) Act 1992 interact? has been withdrawn from 20 October 2022 as it is no longer current.

ATO: SMSFs – get professional advice if investing in crypto assets
The ATO has advised SMSF trustees who are thinking about investing in crypto assets to seek professional advice from a licensed financial adviser. It warned that while there are organisations who offer trustees help to set up a fund or use their existing fund to invest in crypto assets, some of these organisations are not licensed to provide financial advice. This means the usual consumer protections and access to the AFCA are not available for using these services. The ATO also emphasised that there are many things to consider before deciding to invest in crypto assets and that the trustee of an SMSF is ultimately responsible for ensuring the investment complies with the super and tax laws.
APRA: Increased transparency with new super publication
APRA has released the first in a series of new statistical publications to improve the transparency of the superannuation industry. The new Quarterly Superannuation Industry Publication includes new and expanded data collected as part of APRA’s recently introduced Superannuation Data Transformation reporting standards. For the first time, published data includes information on the number and types of products and investment options available in the superannuation industry. It also includes quarterly data on member demographics, such as gender, age and account balances, as well as improved classification of MySuper product asset allocations.

ATO: Stapled super funds for employers
The ATO has provided information on how to request stapled super fund details from it for new employees that don’t choose a super fund. The information includes: when to request stapled super fund details; steps to requesting stapled super fund details; what if you haven’t made a request when you should?; and what if the stapled super fund does not accept your SG payment?

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