As of 1 July the ATO has new powers to deal with SMSF contraventions and trustees not fulfilling their obligations.

A new set of fines ranging from $850 to $10,200, outlined in Table 1 below will be applied depending on the type of contravention and the type of trustee. For individual trustees the fines may be imposed on each individual. In the case of a corporate trustee, the fine is generally directed at the body corporate, for which the directors are jointly liable. The penalties may not be paid from the fund.

In addition to fines, the ATO can also make eduction or rectification directives to the trustees.

  • Individual Trustees Example: Jill and Merryn are members and individual trustess of Yellow SMSF. Jill and Merryn fail to ensure that accounts and statements for Yellow SMSF are prepared for the 2014-15 year of income. As a result, Jill and Merryn are fined $1,700 each.
  • Corporate Trustee Example: Stuart and Alison are members and directors of a body corporate that is the trustee of Green SMSF. Stuart and Alison lend $10,000 from the SMSF to their son to temporarily help his mortgage repayments. He pays them back 6 months later. The corporate trustee has contravened section 65 and is liable for a fine of $10,200.

Table 1: ATO Fines for SMSF Contraventions

SMSF Penalties Imposed by the ATO from 1 July 2014

Remember your obligations as a trustee of a self-managed super fund need to be taken seriously. If you feel any of these SMSF contraventions are potentially a concern for you, please contact us for assistance or (02) 9908 9888 or