Keeping and maintaining SMSF records

Trustees of SMSFs have been put on notice by the ATO that keeping and maintaining good records is one of their key responsibilities and legal obligations. Good record keeping ensures trustees can ensure accurate and timely SMSF accounts, audits and income tax return lodgments.

As a result, the ATO has recently confirmed that even where SMSF trustees rely upon super or tax professionals to administer their SMSF, each trustee remains personally responsible for good record keeping.

If trustees are unsure of their obligations, the ATO has encouraged them to view the ATO’s record-keeping videos available on their website (refer to QC 23333) and undertake an approved education course (refer to QC 41142) to improve their understanding and knowledge.

Editor: Talking about SMSFs… The ATO has recently released some interesting statistics, outlined in the article below. These statistics were taken from the information provided in the 2020 SMSF annual return lodgments.

SMSF – statistical overview from 2020 lodgments published

As of 30 June 2021, SMSFs have been reported as making up 25% of all super assets (i.e., $822 billion as of 30 June 2021).

At the same time, there were approximately 598,000 SMSFs with almost 1.115 million individual members. Furthermore, as of 30 June 2020, on average, each SMSF has assets of just over $1.3 million.

The ATO has also reported that the total contributions to all SMSFs in 2020 was around $17.9 billion (a 4% increase from 2019).

Finally, according to ATO statistics, over 25,000 SMSFs were established in 2021 (with average assets of $391,000 upon establishment), and of these new SMSFs, 85% were founded with a corporate trustee (i.e., rather than an individual trustee).

Editor: If your business is in financial difficulty and needs support, please contact our office and we can assist in finding a suitable solution.

If you need help with your SMSF record keeping obligations just contact us for a FREE Review Session.

Please Note: Many of the comments in this publication are general in nature and anyone intending to apply the information to practical circumstances should seek professional advice to independently verify their interpretation and the information’s applicability to their particular circumstances.