smsf superannuation administration trustee-decision-confusion

SMSF Superannuation Administration matters

SMSF Superannuation Administration matters for a whole range of reasons. The overarching key one is that if it isn’t properly attended, the fund (and its trustees) may find themselves paying additional costs – tax and/ or penalties – to the Self Managed Superannuation Fund regulator, the ATO.

Members: Check that your fund has met all reporting and administration obligations

As a member of an SMSF, you will almost certainly be one of the trustees of the fund. If you are not a co-trustee, or a co-director of the trustee of your fund, by law you should be. Apart from the additional costs involved for your fund (as mentioned above), there are also implications for trustees who take a passive role and are subsequently called to account for their actions (including inaction) in attending to their SMSF Superannuation Administration.

SMSF superannuation administration matters that require regular attention, include –

  • Annually –
    • Appoint an approved auditor to audit your SMSF.
    • Lodge your SMSF annual return with the ATO for your Fund by the due date, providing all the information required – and paying the supervisory levy.
    • If you are having trouble lodging by the due date, seek an extension of time to lodge.
    • Keep minutes outlining investment decisions and how decisions are made.
  • Continuously –
    • Keep records to explain the transactions of your SMSF.
    • Keep annual operating statements and annual statements of your SMSF’s financial position.
    • Keep records to show who the trustees of your SMSF are and their consent to act as trustees.
    • Keep copies of returns and information provided to members.
    • Keep required income tax and deduction documentation as part of your record keeping obligations.
    • Don’t make decisions without documenting them.
    • Notify the ATO of any change of details for the SMSF (for example, change in trustee or members).
    • Make sure you have any actuary certificates you need and keep a copy with your records.
    • Maintain an up-to-date Investment Strategy document – and monitor that the performance of the SMSFs investments is in line with that document.
    • Demonstrate that the insurance requirements of the members of the fund have been considered and addressed.
  • Perpetually –
    • Keep the original copy of the trustee declaration with your records.
    • Retain the trustee declaration signed by each trustee.
    • Keep a register of the location of original Fund Trust Deeds.

Accessing assistance

You may be able to outsource some of these functions: the team at Continuum Financial Planners Pty Ltd can help you to identify an administration firm, an auditor, and other advisers who can ensure your compliant status is maintained. We can also support you with decisions about –

  • starting a self managed superannuation fund;
  • winding up a self managed super fund;
  • documenting an investment strategy relevant to the risk profile, timeframe availability and liquidity requirements of your fund;
  • ensuring your responsibility to consider life insurance needs of members; and
  • advising on many of the investment decisions; and implementing them.

What to do now

To arrange a meeting with one of the experienced advisers at Continuum Financial Planners Pty Ltd to discuss/ review the above matters in relation to operating your/ a self-managed-super-fund (SMSF), call our office on 07-34213456, or use the Contact Us facility on our website.

This article was originally posted in August 2009: it is occasionally refreshed and updated – the most recent update being during May 2021.