Parliament passes penalty unit hike

SMSF, SMSF trustee, SMSF penalty unit, commonwealth penalty, SMSF fine, DBA Lawyers, Daniel Butler, Michael Keenan, Minister for Justice,

SMSFs will be required to pay higher penalties for contraventions after both houses of Parliament passed a new bill to increase penalty units for Commonwealth penalties.

The government passed the new Crimes Amendment (penalty unit) Bill 2017 on 11 May, meaning Commonwealth penalty units will increase from $180 to $210 from 1 July 2017.

The hike also means the automatic adjustment of penalty units to meet the consumer price index, originally slated for July 1 2018, will be delayed until July 1 2020, with further indexations to occur on the same date every three years afterwards.

DBA Lawyers director Daniel Butler said contraventions of many super provisions usually amount to 60 penalty units, and the penalty for these contraventions will mean an increase from the current $10,800 to $12,600 from 1 July 2017.

“[SMSF trustees] have got to take stock because it again reinforces that if you’ve got a corporate trustee, you only have to pay one level of penalty,” Mr Butler said.

Minister for Justice Michael Keenan also weighed in, saying strong penalties are a “central tenet of an effective justice system”.

“This bill will strengthen courts’ ability to impose appropriate punishments on serious offenders, including those involved in organised crime, white-collar crime, fraud and cybercrime,” Mr Keenan said.

“This measure is estimated to result in increased revenue to the Commonwealth of $80 million over the next four years, which will support the government’s efforts to repair the budget and benefit everyday Australians.”

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