The ATO has made an extension to several COVID-19 compliance relief for SMSFs to cover the 2021-22 financial year.
In a recent update, the ATO said that COVID-19 continues to have a significant financial effect on SMSFs, particularly in some states or territories where there are re-occurring and prolonged lockdown periods.
“As a result, you may still find yourself in a position where you (in your role as trustee), or a related party of the fund, are having to provide or accept certain types of relief, which may give rise to contraventions under the super laws,” the ATO said.
“The COVID-19 health crisis has also resulted in many countries imposing travel bans and restrictions, and you may have become stranded overseas for long periods, which can have an effect on your fund’s residency status.
“In recognition of this, we have extended the following types of relief, currently offered for the 2019-20 and 2020-21 financial years, to cover the 2021–22 financial year.
“You must ensure you properly document the relief and can provide your approved SMSF auditor with evidence to support it for the purposes of the annual SMSF audit.”
Rental and loan repayment relief
If rental relief provided by an SMSF, or a related non-geared company or unit trust, to a tenant in the form of a reduction, waiver, or deferral gives rise to a contravention of the super laws, the ATO notes it will not take any compliance action against the fund.
This is provided if the relief is offered on commercial terms (having regard to state and territory COVID-19 support measures) due to the financial impacts of COVID-19, and the SMSF has properly documented the arrangement.
“We plan to make a determination similar to Self-Managed Superannuation Funds (COVID-19 Rental income deferrals – In-house Asset Exclusion) Determination 2020 for the 2021-22 financial year,” the ATO noted.
“This will ensure that a rental deferral offered by your fund or a related party to a tenant does not cause a loan or investment to be an in-house asset in the current and future financial years. However, in the interim, we will adopt the above compliance approach.”
The ATO also said that if loan repayment relief is provided by an SMSF to a related or unrelated party due to the financial impacts of COVID-19, and the relief is offered on commercial terms and the changes to the loan agreement are properly documented, it will not take any compliance action against the fund.
“If an SMSF has a limited recourse borrowing arrangement in place with a related party and the lender offers loan repayment relief to the fund due to the financial impacts of COVID-19, we will accept the parties are dealing with each other at arm’s length, and the arrangement does not give rise to non-arm’s length income, provided the relief is offered on commercial terms (having regard to the terms of relief offered by commercial lenders for real estate investment loans), and you have properly documented the changes to the loan agreement.”
In-house asset and residency relief extended
If an SMSF exceeds the 5 per cent in-house asset threshold at 30 June 2021 due to the financial impacts of COVID-19, the fund must still prepare a written plan to reduce the market value of the fund’s in-house assets to below 5 per cent by 30 June 2022.
However, the ATO notes it will not take any compliance action against the fund where it has not executed the plan by 30 June 2022 due to the financial impacts of COVID-19. For example, because the SMSF is unable to execute the plan because the market has not recovered in some areas, or it may be unnecessary to implement it as the market has recovered.
The ATO has also made an extension to residency relief requirements for SMSF members that may be stranded overseas.
“If you are stranded overseas due to COVID-19, and this causes you to be out of Australia for more than two years, this may affect whether your fund meets some of the residency conditions to be an Australian super fund for tax purposes (and hence, whether the fund is a complying super fund and entitled to receive tax concessions),” the ATO explained.
“Provided there are no other changes in the SMSF or your circumstances affecting the other residency conditions, we will continue to not apply compliance resources to determine whether the fund meets the residency test.”
23 September 2021
The ATO has long held firm on the principle that rent payments (being a form of occupancy costs) are generally...
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Avi Paluch became a partner in 1975. His client base comprises of professionals in a diverse range of industries, sole traders, national, multi-national and international groups in relation to taxation and management issues.
His clients also include large family groups and high net worth individuals. In addition, he is involved in a range of audits. Avi currently involves himself in various community boards in the capacity of honorary treasurer.
His other interests are being with his family and attending sports events.
Andrew Goldberger joined Guests in 1987. Prior to that he occupied a senior position with the Australia Taxation Office. As well as looking after a diverse range of groups of SMEs and high wealth individuals, Andrew is an expert in taxation. He has been involved in a number of Large Income Tax and State Revenue Audits and provides advice on various technical tax issues and areas of tax planning. Andrew also consults to other practitioners in these areas.
Andrew has also written articles for various taxation publications including CCH and participated in taxation focus groups. He is regularly called on to address various public practitioner groups on taxation matters and has conducted training sessions for CPA Australia.
Ha joined Guests Accounting in 2002 and has earned her position to having been appointed a Partner in the firm in 2017. Since obtaining a Bachelor of Business (with Distinction) at RMIT, Ha has completed an MBA at Monash University and a Masters of Taxation at Melbourne Law School.
Having worked for a number of ASX Listed companies before joining Guests, Ha possesses both robust technical skills in management accounting and turn-around strategies, accounting technologies, together with in depth knowledge in public practice as a tax specialist and business advisor.
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As a firm believer in the importance of life time learning, Ha intends to continue her professional engagement with Australian professional bodies and institutions. Whilst regularly speaking and lecturing at Monash University and Latrobe University, she is actively involved with CPA Australia as an author and a group leader for the “Practice Management” Module of the CPA Professional Public Practice program . She is also a member of the Victorian Public Practice Committee CPA Australia (Committee Chair – 2022), and a board member of KOTO International and ASIF foundation, two not-for-profit organisations in Australia.
Moshe joined Guests Accounting in 1985 and has more than 40 years of extensive experience. He has an indepth understanding of business and is responsible for a diverse group of clients and is in charge of the Superannuation Team and the Audit of superannuation funds.
Moshe’s knowledge in many different areas including business structuring, accounting, taxation, auditing, SMSFs and business planning in various industries enables him to provide advice on ‘the big picture’, taking into account both present and future needs of clients.
Moshe has been involved in various not-for-profit organisations during his career in an honorary capacity. This has given him a good grounding in the corporate governance area. Moshe continues his interest in the new regulatory environment of the not-for-profit sector.
Mory graduated from Monash University in 1979 and joined our team with more than 20 years experience. He is a member of both the Institute of Chartered Accountants and the CPA and a Fellow of the Association of Taxation and Management Accountants.
After more than 18 years experience with a Chartered firm, Mory travelled to the United Kingdom and gained invaluable experience working with various Accounting and Legal firms in London, developing operating systems and in investigative accounting roles.
Mory joined Guests in March 2002 and became a partner in July 2005, specialising in Taxation and Business Services. Mory has also served on the executive of community boards and not-for-profit organisations.
Gary Bryfman is a FCPA, having a Masters Degree in Taxation. His earlier accounting background was in industry, specialising in costing and budget preparations.
He has been a partner of Guests for 31 years. Gary has been involved in a number of Jewish organisations, including JCCV as honorary treasurer; CSG, JEMP and advisor to MDA executive.
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