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  • Changes to your SMSF

    Find out how to make changes to the structure, corporate trustee and directors of your SMSF. Also find out how to add a new member and change the structure.

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    Notify us of changes

    As a trustee of an SMSF, you need to notify us within 28 days if there is a change in:

    • trustees
    • directors of the corporate trustee
    • members
    • contact details (contact person, phone, email address and fax numbers)
    • address (postal, registered or address for service of fund notices)
    • fund status.

    You can update the above details of your SMSF:

    Note: Your fund's financial institution account details, tax refund account or electronic service address details can be updated through a registered agent or by calling us. In addition, the electronic service address can be updated by lodging the paper form Change of details for superannuation entities (NAT 3036) (PDF, 605KB).This link will download a file

    You can't use the SMSF annual return to tell us about a change in the structure of your SMSF.

    Adding a new member or trustee

    As part of our 'secure front door' process, we may review new trustees and members if we find reason to. If you add a new member or trustee and we initiate a review, the SMSF is taken offline. We aim to complete these reviews within 56 days. This is one of the many steps we are taking to safeguard the retirement of Australians.

    Changing structure

    We review all SMSFs that change from an individual trustee structure to a corporate trustee structure as part of our 'secure front door' process. If you are changing structure, your SMSF may be taken offline while we conduct the review. This process takes up to 56 days to complete.

    Keeping within the definition of an SMSF

    As a trustee you need to ensure your fund always stays within the legal definition of an SMSF.

    If your SMSF no longer meets the definition of an SMSF you have 6 months to either:

    • restructure your fund to meet the definition of an SMSF
    • voluntarily wind up your SMSF and roll the benefits into an APRA (Australian Prudential Regulation Authority) regulated fund.

    If you do not do anything, some of our actions could include:

    Changes to the status of the corporate trustee

    If any of the following occur to your corporate trustee, you need to restructure the fund:

    • The company is aware or has reasonable grounds to suspect that a person who is, or is acting as, a responsible officer of the company is a disqualified person.
    • The company has been deregistered by the Australian Securities & Investments CommissionExternal Link (ASIC).
    • A receiver, or a receiver and manager, has been appointed in respect of property beneficially owned by the company.
    • A provisional liquidator or restructuring practitioner in respect of the company has been appointed.
    • An administrator has been appointed in respect of the company.
    • Action has started to wind up the company.

    Restructuring the fund could involve:

    • re-registration of the company
    • appointing a new company to operate as trustee
    • changing the fund structure to individual trustees.

    This process can be complex. Talk to ASIC to ensure assets vested with the corporate trustee can be transferred to the new entity or individuals in trust for the fund.

    Find out more on the effects of deregistrationExternal Link.

    Removing yourself as a trustee or director

    If you become a disqualified person you must immediately:

    • notify us of your disqualification (unless you have been disqualified by us)
    • cease being a trustee.

    If you are a director of a corporate trustee, you may also have obligations to inform ASIC.

    Penalties apply if you act as a trustee or director while disqualified. Other trustees have a responsibility to prevent you acting as a trustee if they know you're disqualified.

    If you resign as a trustee your SMSF has 6 months to restructure itself. Generally this will mean rolling your super interest out of the fund.

    The other trustees or directors can:

    • roll over your benefits to another complying super fund
    • appoint an approved trustee who has a licence from APRA (that is, become a small APRA fund)
    • wind up the fund by rolling all members’ benefits out of the fund.

    If you are the only member of the fund and the sole director of the fund’s corporate trustee, contact us on 13 10 20 for advice about what you need to do.

    Becoming a trustee or director again

    If you're disqualified because you've been convicted of a dishonesty offence you can apply to have the disqualification waived. You must apply in writing within 14 days of the conviction to:

    Australian Taxation Office
    PO Box 3100
    PENRITH NSW 2740

    If you have been disqualified by us you can ask for a review of our decision. You must make your request in writing within 21 days of receiving the notice of disqualification.

    Send your request to:

    Australian Taxation Office
    PO Box 3100
    PENRITH NSW 2740

    If you're disqualified due to being insolvent under administration, you can't have your disqualification waived. However, once you are no longer insolvent under administration, you will no longer be disqualified and can become a trustee or director again.

    Last modified: 16 May 2022QC 23334