Published by SMSF Adviser, powered by MOMENTUM MEDIA
Written by Miranda Brownlee on 19 November 2020
SMSF software firm BGL has called on the Treasury to drop its proposed 45-day preparation requirement for SMSF accounts, with the SMSF industry having “already suffered through a year of extreme stress”.
BGL managing director Ron Lesh said the proposal to require SMSFs to prepare their financial statements 45 days before their lodgement date makes no sense and could lead to increased instances of backdating.
“I am trying to understand why this is necessary or where this has come from. It will not improve SMSF reporting, it will not improve SMSF audits, it will not improve SMSF annual return lodgements — so why has it been proposed?” Mr Lesh said.
“In fact, in my view, it could do the opposite. It could put SMSF trustees in a position where they need to backdate accounts — for no reason or benefit.”
Mr Lesh said the SMSF industry has made it clear that the change is unnecessary and that it will simply be an additional burden on SMSF trustees, administrators and auditors.
“I thought post-COVID-19 we were trying to cut unnecessary red tape rather than add more regulations to an already incredibly overregulated industry,” Mr Lesh continued.
“I hope Treasury is listening. A clear statement from Treasury or the government that this change will be dropped is needed now before it causes more angst in the SMSF industry that has already suffered through a year of extreme stress.”
BGL is one of the latest firms to slam the measure, with the accounting bodies and associations such as The Tax Institute and the SMSF Association all expressing concern about the proposed reporting requirement.
“The proposed amendment will achieve nothing beyond forcing the preparation of SMSF accounts into a tighter time frame which will place additional pressure on accountants and those assisting SMSFs in the preparation of their accounts,” The Tax Institute said in its submission.
“Around 99 per cent of SMSFs use a tax agent to lodge their annual return, and tax agents cannot afford to lose 45 days out of their schedule to prepare SMSF accounts earlier in order to meet the proposed requirement.”