What is SMSF specific advice?

SMSF specific advice is a written explanation of the Commissioner's view on how the (super) laws apply, or would apply, to your SMSF in relation to a specific transaction or arrangement. 'Superannuation laws' in relation to SMSF specific advice are the Superannuation Industry (Supervision) Act 1993 (SISA) and Superannuation Industry (Supervision) Regulations 1994 (SISR).

If you rely on SMSF specific advice you have received (that is, you apply the SMSF specific advice to your SMSF's affairs), the Commissioner must administer the law in the way set out in the advice, unless the advice is found to be incorrect. While similar in form to a private ruling, SMSF specific advice is not legally binding on the Commissioner and does not have the same review rights as a private ruling. It will provide certainty on the application of the superannuation laws to your specific circumstances. If we later take the view that the law applies less favourably to your SMSF than the SMSF specific advice indicated, the fact that you acted in accordance with that advice would be a relevant factor in your favour in our consideration of what action to take, if any, in response to any breach of the law.


We use 'scheme' as a general term in taxation and super matters on this site and in the application forms. A scheme can be any agreement, arrangement, understanding, plan, proposal, action, course of action, course of conduct, promise or undertaking, whether express or implied and whether or not enforceable, or intended to be enforceable, by legal proceedings.

Last modified: 18 Feb 2010QC 22130