Cracking the whip 1
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The ATO is starting to crack the whip.

With JobKeeper about to end in a few short weeks, the ATO has given fair warning that it is business as usual. With vigour.

Audit and Tax recovery work full steam ahead.

The leniency shown towards businesses in 2020 is about to end. There is $65 Billion in outstanding taxes and they want their money. And so does the government.

The pressure on your clients to get their affairs in order and pay any outstanding monies will start to ramp up. And they will need your help with that.

SMSF Auditor reviews to resume.

Last year the ATO started reviewing the Top 100 SMSF auditors. To make sure their files and processes were in order. That they were applying necessary due diligence.

Of the fifty three auditors reviewed, only ten were given a clean bill of health. TriSuper Auditors is one of those ten.

Thirty three auditors were given notice of oversights that needed rectifying. They will have the joy of a subsequent review. The other 7 withdrew from auditing. It just was not worth it.

“I suppose you could call it a three strikes and you’re out campaign” * 

There are some 80,000 SMSF returns that are late. Not surprising considering the work overload for most accountants last year. Whilst the ATO is taking a conciliatory note for now, they have also been clear. Start lodging.

* ATO assistant commissioner, SMSF Segment, Justin Micale, speaking at the SMSF Association National Conference 2021.

Independence D-day really is 30 June 2021.

Research shows that as of January this year, over half of all accounting firms have yet to get their heads around SMSF auditor independence.

But it’s real and it’s coming.   

The professional bodies and the ATO have been issuing guidelines and clarifications since July last year.

“For audits completed after 1 July 2021, firms will need to comply with the new [independence] code. This includes audits they have completed for 2020–21. For future financial years and any audits that need to be completed for earlier financial years”.

“If we find firms are breaching this independence standard after 1 July 2021, we may refer the auditor to the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) for further action.”

The last thing you want is ATO on your back. And that’s before we get to the professional bodies. Their reviews are time consuming and distracting. It all becomes very expensive.

Overloaded firms playing catch-up.

In the course of our work, we talk to many different accounting firms and at the moment there is one common theme: scrabbling to play catch-up.

“With all the Covid distraction last year we’ll be lucky to have 60% of our EOFY tax returns submitted on time”.

“Tax planning and budgeting are normally on our radar right now, but we just don’t have the bandwidth”.

 

If you have any questions about your SMSFs please get in touch.

If you want to transfer your audits call me on 1300 874 787.

We can talk about how you operate and how TriSuper Auditors can fit into your world.

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Click to register for the April Webinar

PS Upcoming webinar: SMSF Updates April 2021

Joel will conduct a webinar on Thursday 29 April between 1pm and 2pm EST.

It will also feature a live Q&A at the end to answer any questions you have.

Click to register for your place.