SMSF is a fantastic option especially if you are looking to take greater control of your retirement savings. If you have already set up an SMSF, then congratulations – you have made a great decision!
But now that you have an SMSF, it is important to ensure that you are meeting all of your obligations as a trustee. This includes ensuring that your SMSF’s annual return is lodged on time and that it is compliant with all relevant legislation.
While you can do your own SMSF annual return, it is generally advisable to use the services of professional SMSF accountants. This is because they will have the knowledge and experience to ensure that your return is lodged correctly and on time.
What is SMSF, And How Does It Work?
In full, this is known as a self-managed superannuation fund. SMSF is a type of superannuation fund that is managed by its members, who are also the trustees of the fund. An SMSF can have up to four members, all of whom must be trustees (or directors if the SMSF is a corporate trustee). As trustees, the members of an SMSF are responsible for managing the fund and making sure that it complies with all relevant legislation.
The Annual SMSF Audit-What Does It Cover?
An annual SMSF audit is conducted by an independent auditor and covers a number of areas, including:
· Financial accounts – to make sure that they have been prepared correctly and are a true and fair representation of the SMSF’s financial position
· Compliance with superannuation laws – to make sure that the SMSF has complied with all relevant legislation
· Investment compliance – to make sure that the SMSF’s investments are compliant with the investment strategy
· Trustee declaration – to make sure that the trustees have made a declaration confirming that they have complied with their duties as trustees.
Loans: You can use your SMSF to borrow money to purchase investments, but there are strict rules around this. The most important thing to remember is that the borrowed funds must be used for the sole purpose of acquiring investment for the SMSF. That asset must be held as security for the loan, and the terms of the loan must be on arm’s length terms.
What Rules Should The Trustees of SMSF Abide By For An Auditor To Sign Off The Financial Statements?
Assets: The assets should be maintained in a manner that doesn’t benefit the trustees of the fund.
Concessional versus non-concessional contributions: All members should be aware of the concessional and non-concessional contribution caps, as breaching these could result in significant penalties.
Investment strategy: All trustees must develop and adhere to an investment strategy that is appropriate for the SMSF. This strategy must take into account a number of factors, including the risk tolerance of the trustees, the investment time horizon, and the need for diversification.
Minimum pension payments: If an SMSF is in the pension phase, then the trustees must make sure that they are meeting the minimum pension payment requirements.
Benefit payments: All benefit payments must be made in accordance with the superannuation laws and the trust deed of the SMSF.
Reasons Why You Should Hire SMSF Accountants
Setting up an SMSF is a big responsibility, and among them is ensuring that the right investment strategy is developed. Also, record keeping and filing returns on time are ongoing SMSF compliance requirements. If you fail to comply, the ATO may impose penalties on your SMSF.
So, if you are not confident in your ability to meet all of your SMSF obligations, then it is advisable to seek professional help. Here are some more specific reasons why you should hire SMSF accountants:
1. They have the experience and expertise
SMSF accountants have the expertise and experience to ensure that your SMSF’s annual return is lodged correctly and on time. They will also be able to advise you on any changes to legislation that may impact your SMSF, and they can help you to ensure that your SMSF remains compliant.
2. Get personal guidance:
When you work with SMSF accountants, you will get personalised guidance on how to best manage your SMSF. They can help you develop an investment strategy that is tailored to your specific needs and goals, and they can provide ongoing support to ensure that your SMSF remains compliant.
3. Multiple investment options:
SMSF accountants can help you to identify and invest in a wide range of assets, including property, shares, and managed funds. They can also help you to diversify your SMSF portfolio to reduce risk and maximise returns.
4. Streamline your task with less paperwork:
When you use the services of SMSF accountants, they will take care of all the paperwork and lodgement requirements for you. This will save you a lot of time and hassle, and it will free up your time so that you can focus on other important things.
5. Get assistance in auditing:
SMSF accountants can also help you with the auditing process, which is required by the ATO each year. They can ensure that your SMSF’s financial statements and records are up to date and compliant, and they can help you to rectify any issues that may be identified during the audit.
6. Comply with laws:
SMSF accountants can help you to ensure that your SMSF complies with all relevant laws and regulations. They can provide advice on the best way to structure your SMSF, and they can assist you with the ongoing compliance requirements.
There are many good reasons why you should hire SMSF accountants to do your annual return. They have the experience and expertise to ensure that your return is lodged correctly and on time, and they can provide you with personalised guidance on how to best manage your SMSF. If you are not confident in your ability to meet all of your SMSF obligations, then seek professional help to ensure that your SMSF remains compliant.