Late Lodgement of SMSF Annual Returns – What It Means For You

Late Lodgement Of SMSF Annual Returns

Late Lodgement of SMSF Annual Returns – What It Means For You

The Self Managed Superannuation Fund – often known simply as “SMSF” – is both a blessing and a curse for many Australians, particularly when it comes to lodging SMSF annual returns.  **

While Australians can, if they choose, self manage their own superannuation funds, there is a significant amount of “red tape” involved in running your own SMSF.

Like most financial decisions, there are pros and cons for managing your own SMSF.

It can become difficult if you do not keep on top of things – not only for the owner and trustee of the SMSF, but also for the humble payroll person within the accounts team in any business large or small.

Especially given the recent announcement by the ATO.

From the Australian Tax Office ( ATO ) website:

” Your fund status will change if SMSF annual returns are late.

Lodging your self-manage super fund SMSF annual returns on time is a fundamental part of your obligations as an SMSF trustee.

From 1 October 2019, if an SMSF is more than two weeks overdue on any SMSF annual returns lodgement due date and hasn’t requested a lodgement deferral, we will change their status on Super Fund Lookup ( SFLU ) to ‘Regulation details removed’.  We’re taking this approach because non-lodgement combined with disengagement indicates that retirement savings may be at risk.  This status will remain until any overdue lodgements have been brought up to date.


OK.  So what does that mean ?


The Super Fund Lookup ( SFLU ) website is a Government website of publicly available information about superannuation funds that have an Australian Business Number ( ABN ).

The SFLU website functions as the ATO’s external register for the current compliance status of SMSFs, meaning that employers can use the SFLU service to determine whether employer contributions qualify as superannuation guarantee payments.

The status of any particular SMSF on the SFLU website determines the ability of the SMSF to accept funds, or not.


OK.  So what does that really mean ?

What it can mean is that an employee who has their own SMSF may not realize that their fund may have become invalid / inactive / unavailable, potentially due to the employee not lodging their SMSF annual returns.

What it can mean is that a payroll officer will happily send off funds to an employees SMSF only to have them bounce back days or weeks later.

This potentially creates a frustrating scenario of lost time over several weeks as the payroll officer and the employee confirm and deny and check and recheck Super Fund details.


Some facts:

  • From 1 October 2019, the ATO will change an SMSF’s status on the Government’s Super Fund Lookup website to ‘regulation details removed’ if the SMSF is more than two weeks overdue on any SMSF annual returns lodgement due date.
  • The ATO will reinstate the SMSF’s complying status on the first business day of the month after it has received the overdue SMSF annual returns lodgements.

The potential implications of the SMSF having a status of ‘regulation details removed’ are:

  • APRA funds may not roll over any member benefits to the SMSF.
  • Employers may not make any superannuation guarantee contribution payments for members of the SMSF.


Recommended actions – for SMSF trustees and members/owners:

  • If the trustee is of the view that it cannot meet the lodgement due date, it should, before the due date, contact the ATO to seek a deferral to lodge.
  • While the SMSF’s status is ‘Regulation details removed’, members should alert their employer to make any SG payments into the employer’s default superannuation fund or a fund of the member’s choice.
  • Once the SMSF’s status has been updated to ‘complying’, members can request a rollover to their SMSF of any member benefits that may be held outside their SMSF.

Recommended actions – for payroll officers:

  • Be aware that just because a Super transaction was completed successfully last week does not mean that it will be completed successfully this week.
  • If Super transactions are returned as “unable to be processed”, then check to see which employees have a SMSF as a first line of inquiry.
  • Smile, accept the reality, have a nice cup of tea, breath deeply, and preferably eat some chocolate.


Further information and the ATO Guidance is available here:

Late Lodgement Of SMSF Annual Returns

Late Lodgement Of SMSF Annual Returns – What It Means For You

Self Managed Superannuation Funds are a great option for employees who wish to be responsible for their own Super.  Just be aware that SMSF’s now have just a little bit more complexity built in to them, which means keeping on top of your SMSF annual returns.

If you would like to discuss your Payroll needs we have experienced business and accounting technology consultants, plus knowledge and expertise with existing software solutions available to take your business to the next level.  Please Contact Us – we would love to help you !

** DISCLAIMER- Acacia Consulting Services is neither a Tax Agent nor a BAS Agent.  The information provided in this and other articles and pages on our website is of a general nature only and does not constitute. nor is intended to be interpreted as financial advice in any way.  Please refer to your suitably qualified Accountants, Advisers for specifics to your needs and requirements.