There are a number of reason the ATO may delay the issue of an ABN or not add it to Superfund Lookup (to enable rollovers and contributions) for a new SMSF including:
- The members / trustees of the SMSF have outstanding personal income tax returns and/or tax payable
- The members / trustees may be a member or former member of an SMSF that has outstanding tax lodgement obligations or has a poor compliance history
- The member details (name, address, date of birth) submitted on the ABN application form do not match tax office records
- The member details do not match ASIC records of directors where a special purpose trustee company is being used
- The ATO has tried to undertake additional verification procedures including contacting the members / trustees but has failed (trustees not contactable or they fail basic questions).
- The ATO has suspicion that the members are involved in an illegal early access scheme
- The ATO has information that the members / trustees are unemployed and therefore high risk of illegally accessing their super benefits pre-retirement
- The members / trustees are ineligible to become trustees of an SMSF due to being disqualified or bring undischarged bankrupts
In certain instances, the ATO will contact members / trustees of newly established SMSFs as part of the ABN registration process to verify that they are suitable to act as trustees of an SMSF.
This process can be quite intimidating for your clients.
We recommend you provide the following documentation and resources to your clients who are becoming new SMSF trustees:
- ATO Trustee Declaration (most questions they will ask will come from this document)
- ATO Booklet - Roles & Responsibilities of Trustees
- ATO Booklet - Running an SMSF
- A copy of their SMSF trust deed
- Provide them with this link to the ATO short animated video series: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL5-ESUNqws-MF2UvO7h2ZCUiuaXLzMmZ2
It is recommended all new trustees watch the following ATO educational videos as a minimum:
- SMSF Trustee Declaration
- What's involved in an SMSF
- SMSF sole purpose test
- SMSF loans and early access
In addition we recommend you take the time to explain to the trustees that although both you as the adviser and Superfund Wholesale as the administrators take care of a significant amount of the ongoing compliance obligations for the SMSF, ultimate responsibility rests with them as trustees.