ATO extends SMSF returns deadline

Self-managed superannuation fund (SMSF) advisers have been given an extension to lodge annual returns for 2015/16 to 30 June 2017 by the Australian Taxation Office (ATO).

The ATO said the decision was a result of feedback received from professional and industry representatives.

ATO deputy commissioner, James O’Halloran said: “Accountants, tax agents and SMSF advisers play a key role in ensuring that their SMSF clients are ready for the changes on 1 July. They will ensure their clients are in the best position to make informed decisions about their superannuation savings in light of the changes”.

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“Recognising this is a crucial transition period for the SMSF sector as we head towards the most significant superannuation reforms for several years, we have extended the lodgement due date for 2015/16 SMSF annual returns,” he said.

O’Halloran said the extension would help reduce some of the burden of compliance work so that accountants, tax agents and SMSF advisers could focus on providing appropriate advisory services to their SMSF clients ahead of the changes.

The SMSF Association’s new chief executive, John Maroney, welcomed the flexible approach and said the extra time would allow SMSF trustees to make well informed decisions instead of hasty ones.

“This extension will give advisers, who have the onerous responsibility of helping trustees comply with the current legislation, the time to plan, prepare and advise their clients about the upcoming changes during this crucial transition period,” Maroney said.

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