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Lodgment, assessment and payment

Last updated 12 February 2019


An SMSF must lodge an SMSF annual return, even if it does not have a tax liability for the income year.

You can lodge the SMSF annual return either:

  • electronically, or
  • on the paper form Self-managed super fund annual return 2015 (NAT 71226).

The audit of your SMSF must be finished before you lodge the SMSF annual return, as you need information from the audit report to complete the regulatory information on the SMSF annual return.

Lodging electronically

To lodge electronically you need:

  • commercial software that supports electronic lodgment by either standard business reporting (SBR) or electronic lodgment service (ELS) (tax agents only)
  • to register for the electronic lodgment method (either SBR or ELS) that your software uses.

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You cannot lodge electronically if the SMSF has:

  • no assets or liabilities or
  • no assessable income and it claims deductions for expenses such as tax-agent fees or the SMSF supervisory levy.

Lodging using the paper form

You can lodge a paper SMSF annual return that:

To lodge a paper SMSF annual return, post it to:

Australian Taxation Office
GPO Box 9845
[insert the name and postcode of your capital city]

For example;

Australian Taxation Office
GPO Box 9845

You may photocopy the annual return for the SMSF’s records but you must send us the original.

Lodging schedules

The following are the only schedules that you may include with the SMSF annual return, if required:

SMSF annual returns lodged without all the required schedules are not lodged in the approved form. Unless your SMSF annual return and all required schedules are lodged by the due date, we may apply a penalty for failing to lodge on time.

You may have to complete other schedules or documents which you are not required to lodge with your SMSF annual return. Do not send them with the SMSF annual return. Sign and date any schedules and keep the schedules and documents with the SMSF’s tax records.

Lodgment due dates

The SMSF annual return for a particular income year is due in the following income year. For example, the SMSF annual return 2015 (for 2014–15) is due in 2015–16.

Not all SMSFs have the same lodgment due date. Check the table below for a due date that applies to your SMSF. Regardless of the dates in the list below, you must lodge by a different date if we have directed you to. You should familiarise yourself with your SMSF's lodgment obligations.

In certain circumstances we may waive the requirement for a newly registered SMSF to lodge an annual return for its first year (see Lodgment concession for newly registered SMSF).


An SMSF that prepares and lodges its own annual return must lodge by the applicable date shown in the table below. If more than one date applies to the SMSF, it must lodge by the earliest date that applies to it.


Types of lodgment

31 October 2015

  • New registrant SMSF. Payment, if required, is due on 1 December 2015.
  • SMSF with one or more annual returns overdue on 30 June 2015 (unless they have been granted a deferral). Payment, if required, is due 1 December 2015.


15 January 2016

SMSF that was a taxable large or medium business in 2014–15. Payment is due 1 December 2015. See Due dates for the current financial year.

28 February 2016

All other self-preparing SMSFs (unless we have directed you to lodge on a different date). Payment, if required, is also due on the lodgment date.


Failure to lodge your SMSF annual return by the due date can result in penalties and the loss of your SMSF’s tax concessions.

Tax agent clients

An SMSF that uses a registered tax agent to prepare and lodge its annual return should contact its tax agent to find out the due date for lodgment.

Lodgment concession for newly registered SMSF

There is a concession for an SMSF that has not started operating in its first financial year of registration. In certain circumstances, we may allow an RNN (return not necessary) concession for that year.

To apply for this concession you must notify us in writing that your SMSF:

  • was registered in the financial year
  • was not operating by 30 June
  • had not received contributions or rollover amounts by 30 June
  • has now received contributions or rollovers, including the date that the first contribution or rollover was received by the SMSF.

Write to us at:
Australian Taxation Office
PO Box 1128
Penrith NSW 2740

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Amending an SMSF annual return

To amend your SMSF annual return you need to

  • resubmit the whole return and
  • answer 'yes' to the question Is this an amendment to the SMSF's annual return? at question 5 in section A.

When submitting an amendment, you must complete the new form in full (not just the parts you want to change). Your amended form will replace the original form in our system.


You cannot request amendments to an SMSF annual return by:

  • writing to us with the correct details, or
  • using a Request for an amendment of an income tax return form.


Under full self-assessment, an SMSF completes and lodges its annual return and pays the amount it is required to pay (if any) to the ATO. An assessment of an SMSF is deemed to be made on the day on which the annual return is lodged.

The SMSF will not receive a notice of assessment. However, we will issue a notice of amended assessment if subsequent amendments are made.

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You can request a ruling or SMSF specific advice to clarify the way the law applies to your SMSF.


Your payment needs to reach us on or before its due date, whether the payment is made in Australia or from overseas. To avoid making a late payment, check your financial institution’s processing deadlines.

What is my EFT code or payment reference number (PRN)?

An EFT code is your electronic funds transfer (EFT) code and a PRN is your payment reference number. You need to quote your EFT or PRN when making a payment. If you are unable to locate your EFT code or PRN, you can:

  • phone us on 1800 815 886, 8.00am-6.00pm, Monday to Friday
  • email us at

It is important that you provide the correct PRN or EFT code when making your payment.

Payment methods

You can pay by the following methods:

  • BPAY®
  • Credit card
  • Direct credit
  • Direct debit
  • Mail
  • Australia Post.

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What if your SMSF cannot pay its tax debt by the due date?

If you cannot pay the debt on time phone 13 28 66 and ask for account management.

You are expected to organise the SMSF’s affairs to ensure that you pay the debt on time. However, depending on the circumstances you may be able to enter into an arrangement to pay by instalments.

You may need to provide details of the SMSF’s financial position, including a statement of its assets and liabilities and details of the SMSF’s income and expenditure. We will also want to know what steps you have taken to obtain funds to pay the tax debt and the steps you are taking to meet future payments of tax debts on time.

General interest charge (GIC) is an interest charge imposed where there is a late payment of a tax debt. The GIC rate is the 90-day bank accepted bill rate plus 7% and is updated on a quarterly basis. Amounts payable under the original assessment are due on the statutory due date for payment, which is the first day of the sixth month of the following income year or by such later date as the Commissioner allows. For SMSFs the balancing date is 30 June 2015 and the statutory due date for payment is 1 December 2015; however, for many SMSFs a later payment due date will apply. GIC will begin to accrue from the due date for payment until the amount is paid in full. GIC compounds daily and is calculated on any outstanding balance.

For more information on the GIC, phone 13 28 66.

Penalties and interest charges

You should take care in your application of the law and the statements you make in the SMSF annual return. The law imposes penalties on the trustees of SMSFs for:

  • failing to lodge the annual return on time and in the approved form
  • making a false or misleading statement even if there is no shortfall amount
  • having a shortfall amount for underreporting a liability or over-claiming a credit that is caused by taking a position that is not reasonably arguable
  • failing to provide an annual return from which the Commissioner can determine a liability
  • entering into a scheme to obtain a tax benefit.

Knowingly answering a question incorrectly will be treated as a more serious offence than answering carelessly. SMSF trustees have ultimate responsibility for the SMSF, regardless of whether or not the trustees use professional services such as administration providers, tax agents or other financial advisers.

Penalties will not apply, if:

  • the trustee of the SMSF and their agent (if applicable) made a mistake and they took reasonable care with making the statement, or
  • the trustee of the SMSF gave their registered tax agent all relevant taxation information and the agent makes a false or misleading statement due to a lack of reasonable care by the agent.

The trustee of an SMSF is liable for GIC if:

  • tax, penalties or shortfall interest charges (SIC) remain unpaid after the due date for payment, or
  • a variation of a pay as you go (PAYG) instalment rate or amount is less than 85% of the rate or amount which would have covered the SMSF’s actual liability for the year.

The trustee of an SMSF is liable for the SIC if the SMSF’s income tax assessment is amended and its liability increased. Generally, the SIC accrues on the extra tax payable from the due date of the original assessment until the day before the assessment is amended.

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