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  • SMSF early engagement and voluntary disclosure service

    Each year an approved self-managed super fund (SMSF) auditor must audit your fund. The auditor is required to report certain regulatory contraventions to us via the Auditor/actuary contravention report.

    When contraventions have occurred you should work with your appointed SMSF professionals including your SMSF auditor to rectify them as soon as possible.

    You are encouraged to voluntarily disclose regulatory contraventions that remain unrectified. You can do this via our SMSF early engagement and voluntary disclosure service. This service provides a single entry point for SMSF trustees and professionals to engage early with us in relation to unrectified contraventions.

    If you voluntarily disclose unrectified contraventions before we commence an audit, your disclosure will be taken into account in determining the enforcement action we take and the appropriate level of remission of administrative penalties.

    You must provide us with all relevant facts, supporting documentation and a rectification proposal or proposed Enforceable undertaking and actively engage with us throughout the resolution process.

    If you make a disclosure about contraventions that occurred in previous years, you must lodge any outstanding SMSF annual returns.

    See also:

    Who can use the service?

    SMSF trustees, SMSF auditors and SMSF professionals (such as tax agents, accountants, financial planners, lawyers and fund administrators acting on behalf of SMSF trustees) can use our Early engagement and voluntary disclosure service.

    When can the service be used?

    The SMSF early engagement and voluntary disclosure service should only be used when it is clear there has been a contravention of the Superannuation Industry (Supervision) Act 1993 (SIS Act) or regulations and it remains unrectified at the time your SMSF auditor reports it to us. Prior to using this service you should engage with an SMSF professional to receive guidance about rectifying the contravention so you have a rectification proposal to include with your voluntary disclosure.

    Your SMSF auditor is still required to report regulatory contraventions via an Auditor/actuary contravention report (ACR). However, we will not commence an audit based on an ACR if the issue has been resolved through a voluntary disclosure, unless we receive additional information that requires further investigation.

    You should not use this service if you have already received notification of an ATO audit or review in relation to the contravention.

    Service expectations

    What you can expect from us:

    SMSF trustees and professionals who engage with us and make a voluntary disclosure in accordance with this service can expect us to:

    • engage with you and work with you and your SMSF professionals with the intent to agree on a proposed plan for rectifying the disclosed contravention
    • take your voluntary disclosure and your willingness to engage with us at an early stage and throughout the review process into account when:
      • determining the level of enforcement action that is required
      • making a decision about the remission of any administrative penalties that may be applicable.

    What we expect from you:

    • in all cases where possible, you should engage with your SMSF auditor and/or other professional to devise a proposed plan of action to rectify the contravention
    • in all cases where possible, a proposed plan for rectifying the contravention and relevant supporting documentation should be provided with your voluntary disclosure
    • you should provide information that demonstrates that measures have been put in place to mitigate the risk of similar contraventions occurring in the future
    • you will
      • actively engage with us throughout the review process
      • bring any outstanding SMSF annual return lodgements immediately up to date
      • make any necessary consequential amendments to SMSF annual returns and/or individual members’ income tax and pay any resulting, outstanding income tax liabilities.

    Making a regulatory contravention voluntary disclosure

    You can complete the SMSF regulatory contravention disclosure form or apply in writing to make a voluntary disclosure.

    The completed form or your written application and any relevant supporting documentation should be submitted to us by:

    If you apply in writing your application should include the information and declaration as outlined in the SMSF regulatory contravention disclosure form.

    Accepting voluntary disclosures

    We will acknowledge the SMSF voluntary disclosure within 28 days.

    We may contact you to request additional information if insufficient information has been provided.

    We will assess your voluntary disclosure and depending on the facts and circumstances of each case it will generally result in an ATO review to consider the undertaking or rectification proposal.

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    Last modified: 27 May 2016QC 49175