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Lodge SMSF annual returns

You need to lodge an SMSF annual return (SAR) once your SMSF's audit has been finalised.

Last updated 15 November 2022

Benefits of including your ABN

When lodging your SAR we encourage you to report your Australian business number (ABN) so our systems match your members correctly. Members can view the SMSF account details on ATO online services.

Members can choose their SMSF account if they are completing forms online for:

  • compassionate release of super
  • early release of super
  • excess concessional contribution election
  • excess non-concessional contribution election
  • Division 293 election.

Member’s SMSF account details are available on Online services for agents if they use a registered tax agent.

If your fund did not have assets in the first year it was registered, you may not need to lodge a return for that year.

How to lodge

The SAR is more than a tax return. It is required to report super regulatory information, member contributions and pay the SMSF supervisory levy.

You can lodge your return electronically through Standard Business Reporting (SBR)External Link. You'll need:

You can lodge a paper annual return by downloading the SMSF annual return and SMSF annual return instructions for the relevant year.

Complete the return and 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

As SMSFs assess their own tax debt or refund, a notice of assessment is not issued.

When to lodge and pay

Not all SMSFs have the same lodgment due date. Check the due date that applies to your SMSF.

If a due date falls on a weekend or public holiday you can lodge or pay on the next business day. For more payment options, see How to pay.

Lodging your own return

If you are a self-preparer lodging a return, find the lodgment type, due date and payment date that applies to you.

Lodgment type

Lodgment date

Payment due date (if required)

  • Newly registered SMSFs
  • Overdue SMSF annual returns for prior financial years (excluding deferrals)

31 October

1 December

All other self-preparing SMSFs (unless we asked you to lodge on a different date)

28 February

28 February

When a tax agent lodges your return

If your return is lodged through a tax agent, they'll provide the due date for lodgment or payment. The due dates are set out in the tax agent lodgment program. For your first year the due date will be 28 February.

If your SMSF is reviewed by us at registration, your first year return due date will be 31 October even if it is prepared and lodged by a tax agent. We will notify you if this is the case.

Before you lodge your SAR, you must ensure that:

  • your SMSF's audit has been finalised
  • the SAR contains the correct auditor details.

Otherwise, you may be penalised.

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

After lodging

Once you or your tax professional have lodged the SAR, if the fund's bank account or electronic service address (ESA) is updated, all members of the SMSF will receive an alert indicating a change to the SMSF.

If you are not aware of the SAR being lodged, or any changes being made to your SMSF, you should get in contact with us as soon as possible.


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

Funds without assets

An SMSF is not legally established until the fund has assets set aside for the benefit of members. Our systems will not accept an annual return for an SMSF that has no assets or no closing member account balances, unless the return is for the year in which the fund is wound up.

If an SMSF does not have assets set aside for the benefit of members in the first year it was registered, you can ask us to either:

  • cancel the fund's registration
  • flag the SMSF's record as return not necessary (RNN) if the SMSF confirms in writing          
    • that although registered, it had no assets and did not receive contributions or rollovers in the first financial year
    • that it has documentary evidence of the date the SMSF first held assets and commenced operating (for example the SMSF's first bank statement)
    • that it will be lodging future returns.

If you're a trustee your written request must include:

  • the SMSF's name, TFN or ABN
  • confirmation that it meets all eligibility conditions
  • documentary evidence of the date assets were first placed into the fund.

This request can be sent to us at:

Australian Taxation Office
GPO Box 9990
[insert the name and postcode of your capital city]

For example

Australian Taxation Office
GPO Box 9990

If you're a tax agent you'll need to use the Online services for agents mail option, select Superannuation as the topic, and choose from the following mail subjects:      

  • SMSF cancellation of registration – where a fund has not legally established
  • SMSF new registrant – Return Not Necessary (RNN) request.

For RNN requests your submission must include:

  • the SMSF's name, TFN or ABN
  • confirmation that it meets all eligibility conditions
  • documentary evidence of the date assets were first placed into the fund.

An RNN is generally only allowed for a newly registered SMSF in its first year of registration.

RNNs for subsequent years will only be granted in limited circumstances and where the fund provides documentary evidence of the date assets were first held by the fund, for example the SMSF's first bank statement.

When an SMSF that has previously advised a return was not necessary is legally established and needs to lodge a return for the first time, the due date of the first return lodged by a tax agent will be 28 February.

Amend your SMSF annual return

To amend your SAR, you need to resubmit the whole return. Make sure you answer 'yes' in section A at question 5, Is this an amendment to the SMSF's annual return?

Because information on the SAR is inter-related, changing one label on the form is likely to require changes to other labels too. You need to complete the form in full, not just the parts you want to amend, and provide contributions information for all members, not just the member whose contributions you may need to change.

Failure to lodge

If you fail to lodge your SAR on time and you're more than 2 weeks overdue, you risk the compliance status of your SMSF on Super Fund LookupExternal Link being changed to 'regulation details removed'.

If your status is 'regulation details removed' and you then lodge, your status will be updated to 'complying' on the first business day of the following month and made available on the following day.

In addition to changing the regulation details on Super Fund Lookup, you risk receiving failure to lodge penalties.

Supervisory levy

You need to pay the supervisory levy with your SAR. The amount payable is stated on the return.

From 1 July 2013 – the levy is payable for the financial year in which the annual return is due. For example, when you lodge your 2014–15 annual return you pay the levy for the 2015–16 financial year.

Up to 1 July 2013 – the SMSF supervisory levy was payable for the financial year to which the SAR related.

From 2013–14 – the annual SMSF levy is $259.

To bring collections forward, transitional provisions apply to the levy for the 2013–14 financial year so that it is payable in 2 instalments which are collected upon lodgment of the 2013 and 2014 annual returns.

Label M on the annual return will enable funds that have wound up during a financial year to adjust the levy so they don't pay the levy for the following year.

New funds will also have an adjustment Label N on the annual return to add the levy relating to the year of establishment to the amount payable.