Self-managed super funds (SMSFs) are being used as a vehicle to remove money from superannuation before preservation age, when it’s legally allowed to be released, according to the ATO.
This has always been a concern for the ATO, but new on its radar in 2019 is a growing numbers of investors who are in their 30s - and far off retiring - rolling their money out of a managed superannuation fund into an SMSF to get early access.
Those SMSFs often don’t lodge a return, so as not to alert the ATO to their transactions.
“Through our risk assessment processes, we have flagged this as an area where illegal early release could occur,” ATO assistant commissioner for the SMSF segment Dana Fleming told Nest Egg’s sister publication, SMSF Adviser.
The ATO has seen a steady increase in the population of SMSFs using this strategy over about a five-year time frame.
As reported yesterday, penalties can include, in extreme cases, funds being wound up and a 45 per cent tax impost being applied.
Other penalties include administrative penalties, which have a cost attached, or being disqualified from running a fund.