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Hundreds of SMSFs on the chopping block

The Tax Office has cancelled the Australian Business Numbers (ABNs) of about 700 self-managed funds, after a surveillance program looking for risks and red flags.

ATO assistant commissioner Dana Fleming said that as part of the ATO’s compliance program called “secure the front door”, the ATO applies an analytical model to all SMSFs at the time of set-up, which identifies whether there are any risks or red flags with the individual setting up the fund.

Ms Fleming said that out of the 26,000 SMSF registrations in the last financial year, 2,100 were flagged for additional reviews by the ATO’s risk analytical model.

“Of those additional reviews, 681 had their ABN cancelled, and 336 had their details withheld from super fund lookup,” she told delegates at the SMSF Summit at Adelaide last week.


“Super fund lookup, as you know, is where you can go if you’re an APRA fund to look up an SMSF to see if its complying and can indeed receive contributions and rollovers.”

Ms Fleming said the process helps ensure that the individuals setting up an SMSF are genuine and want to do so for the right reasons.

The ATO, she explained, is looking to see that the individual has demonstrated a history of good compliance and that there are no red flags.

“We are looking at whether the SMSF trustee’s financial history is up to scratch, if they have been bankrupt, if they owe debts to the ATO and whether they have a good compliance history with the ATO,” Ms Fleming said.

Hundreds of SMSFs on the chopping block
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