ATO upgrades Online services for SMSF auditors

The ATO has made a number of enhancements to Online services for business to improve the process of lodging auditor contravention reports and audit complete advices.

The Tax Office said these updates would provide auditors with the ability to enter and save auditor details so they can be selected and prepopulated when they lodge auditor contravention reports (ACRs) and audit complete advices (ACAs).

There is also now clearer messaging on the confirmation of lodgment screen, with auditors now able to download both draft and lodged ACRs to their device.

The updates also include larger text boxes in the ACR forms with increased character limits and the ability to save up to 150 draft ACR forms and keep them for up to six months.

The enhancements also include the removal of the prepopulation of the current year in both the ACR and ACA forms and the option to choose to provide consent under the whistleblower laws, and provides clear steps where auditors choose not to provide it.

“With the decommissioning of the electronic superannuation audit tool (eSAT) on 1 March 2022, Online services for business is now the digital channel auditors need to use to lodge their ACR and ACA forms,” the ATO reminded auditors.

The ATO also reminded auditors that once they’ve lodged an ACR or ACA in Online services for business, under the ATO’s tax secrecy laws, they become protection information of the SMSF.

“We can only disclose an SMSF’s tax information to its trustees and ‘covered entities’. Unlike tax agents, auditors aren’t considered ‘covered entities’ under tax law,” the ATO said.

“Currently there are no disclosure exceptions in the tax law unless specific conditions are met. For example, if we’re looking to take compliance action against a fund and need to verify some of the content on the ACR, we can disclose the record to the auditor for the purpose of carrying out our duties as regulator.”

Auditors can still access and print any historical records held on eSAT, the Tax Office said.

“Once you have lodged an ACR form using Online services for business, you will be reminded to download and save a copy for your own record keeping purposes,” it stated.

 

 

Miranda Brownlee

25 March 2022

smsfadviser.com

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