Missed The Deadline? Here’s What To Do For Your SAR

Managing a Self-Managed Super Fund (SMSF) requires careful attention to deadlines and compliance requirements. However, despite our best intentions, sometimes life gets in the way, and we miss important deadlines.

One of those deadlines could have been your self-managed super fund (SMSF) annual return (SAR) lodgment due date.

If you missed your SAR lodgement due date (28 February), it’s essential to understand the implications and steps you can take to rectify the situation.

Understanding the Consequences

Missing your SMSF annual return lodgment due date can have several consequences, including:

  • Penalties: The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) imposes penalties for late lodgment of SMSF annual returns. These penalties can range from monetary fines to administrative sanctions, depending on the severity and frequency of non-compliance.
  • Loss of Tax Benefits: Delayed lodgment may result in the loss of tax benefits or entitlements associated with your SMSF, such as concessional tax rates or eligibility for certain deductions.
  • Auditing Requirements: Late lodgment may trigger additional auditing requirements or scrutiny from the ATO, potentially leading to increased compliance costs and administrative burdens for the SMSF trustees.

Steps to Take

If you’ve missed your SMSF lodgment due date, here are some steps you can take to address the situation:

  • Assess the Reason: Determine the reason for the late lodgment and assess whether it was due to circumstances beyond your control or a failure to meet compliance obligations. Understanding the root cause will help you address any underlying issues and prevent future instances of non-compliance.
  • Contact the ATO: If you anticipate missing the lodgment due date or have already missed it, it’s essential to contact the ATO as soon as possible. Inform them of the situation, provide any relevant explanations or documentation, and seek guidance on proceeding.
  • Submit the Annual Return: Lodge the outstanding SMSF annual return as soon as possible to minimize the impact of late lodgment penalties. You can submit the return electronically using the ATO’s online services or through a registered tax agent.
  • Consider a Lodgment Deferral: In certain circumstances, the ATO may grant a lodgment deferral or extension if you can demonstrate valid reasons for the delay. Contact the ATO to discuss your eligibility and request a deferral if necessary.
  • Pay Any Outstanding Penalties: If late lodgment penalties have been imposed, ensure prompt payment to avoid further escalation of penalties or additional enforcement actions by the ATO.
  • Review Compliance Processes: Take this opportunity to review your SMSF compliance processes and procedures to identify areas for improvement and implement measures to prevent future instances of late lodgment.

Seek Professional Advice

Navigating the complexities of SMSF compliance can be challenging, especially if you’ve missed essential deadlines.

Consider seeking professional advice from a qualified SMSF specialist or tax advisor to help you understand your obligations, rectify any compliance issues, and ensure ongoing compliance with regulatory requirements.

Remember, proactive communication and prompt action are vital in resolving compliance issues and maintaining the integrity of your SMSF.