Keeping abreast of issues

How has Covid-19 impacted your SMSF?


Most SMSFs will be concerned with what’s happening with investments right now. Across the globe, we’re seeing the impact of Covid-19 on every asset class. This won’t last forever, and in fact, for savvy investors there are opportunities in the market.

But right now, if you have an SMSF, it’s an ideal time to review your investment strategy.

 By Paul Rattray

One thing concerning SMSFs right now is the impact of Covid-19 on the international and local share markets, as well as the impact on property values.

SMSFs are designed to build wealth for retirement, so all decisions made by the trustees must be made with that sole premise in mind. Your investment strategy, put in place at inception, should be reviewed regularly as a matter of course, but right now, it would be wise to undertake a detailed strategic review to see what, if any, changes you can make as markets settle down and we look to the future post Covid-19.

Budgeting – Forecasting the Future with Confidence

Reviewing your investment strategy


Definitely consider professional advice. There will be a number of issues to examine, around the maturity of your SMSF, how many members you have, and when members are due to retire and your exit strategy as well as your current performance and where you might look for opportunities.

SMSF’s are heavily regulated because the sole purpose of superannuation is to fund retirement. Checks and balances by the ATO seem like a lot of red tape, but they are designed to ensure that your SMSF is on track to deliver enough funds to pay members’ in their post retirement years.

Reporting on time is a must


Don’t forget too, that last year the ATO announced that as of 1 October 2019, any SMSF that was more than two weeks overdue on it’s lodgement due date would have their status changed on Super Fund Lookup (SFLU) to ‘Regulation details removed’.

This ‘penalty’ results in a massive inconvenience for SMSF’s because having a status of ‘Regulation details removed’ means APRA funds won’t roll over any member benefits to the SMSF and employers won’t make any super guarantee (SG) contribution payments for members of the SMSF.

Basically, the ATO is taking a tough stance because non-lodgment can be an indicator of a lack of engagement with the process, and this means that retirement savings could be at risk.

Keep the lines of communication open with the ATO


So what’s the key takeaway? Lodge on time – the deadline is the first business day of every month – and if you’re not in a position to do that, then request an extension of the deadline. It’s important you do this before any action is taken by the ATO.

Basically, if you find yourself in a position where ‘Regulation details have been removed’ then you need to contact the ATO and lodge as soon as possible. When all overdue payments are up to date, the ATO will reinstate the SMSF’s ‘compliant’ status.

While there’s no financial penalty: late fees or fines,  the hassle of having this happen to you is onerous, so it’s important that you adopt good processes and procedures so you don’t miss a deadline.

 

While having an SMSF can be enormously beneficial, SMSF’s are complex, and the rules do change from time to time, so it’s critical that you understand this legislation, the tax implications and how to implement the right strategies to ensure your SMSF performs well so that it can sustain you in retirement.

If you need help, contact us.

 

This is general advice only and should not be treated as personal advice.Always seek professional advice that consider your personal needs when making financial or
investment decisions or changes to your SMSF.