SMSF Trust Deed Rules & Requirements

Monday, 19 May 2014    Superannuation,Trusts

SMSF Trust Deed

Every Self Managed Super Fund SMSF must be established with an SMSF trust deed. Each SMSF trustee is bound by the trust deed and is responsible for following the rules set out in the trust deed.

Generally, an SMSF trust deed covers:

  • who the trustees of the SMSF are
  • how trustees are appointed and how they can be removed
  • the trustees’ powers
  • how and when benefits can be paid to members
  • when contributions can be made
  • who can be members of the SMSF, and
  • winding up of the SMSF.

Butlers Accountants provides a standard SMSF trust deed to all our SMSF clients. This trust deed is flexible and effectively allows the SMSF to do anything allowed by superannuation legislation.

SMSF Legislation

SMSFs are subject to numerous legislative instruments, including the:

  • Superannuation Industry (Supervision) Act 1993 (‘SISA’)
  • Superannuation Industry (Supervision) Regulations 1994
  • Income Tax Assessment Act 1997, and
  • Corporations Act 2001.

Regulation of SMSFs

An SMSF, like any other regulated superannuation fund, is subject to prudential supervision under the Superannuation Industry (Supervision) Act 1993 (SISA). The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) is the principal regulator of SMSFs. The Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA) and Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) also have a regulatory role.

Annual SMSF Requirements

Each year, the trustees of an SMSF must:

  • prepare financial statements
  • prepare an annual return and ensure it is lodged with the ATO by the due date
  • appoint an Approved Auditor to examine the SMSF’s financial statements and assess the compliance status of the SMSF at the end of each financial year, and
  • pay the supervisory levy and the SMSF’s tax liability when due.

Penalties apply for failing to meet these annual requirements.

SMSF Record Keeping

SMSF trustees must keep the following records for at least 5 years:

  • accounting records detailing the SMSF’s transactions and financial position
  • annual operating statements and annual statement of the SMSF’s financial position
  • copies of annual returns lodged, and
  • copies of any other statements lodged with the ATO or provided to other super funds.

SMSF trustees must keep the following records for 10 years:

  • minutes of all trustee meetings
  • change of trustee records
  • change of director records, if the SMSF has a corporate trustee
  • trustee declarations, for trustees appointed after 30 June 2007
  • written consent by members appointed as trustee, and
  • copies of all reports provided to members.

Penalties apply for failing to keep records for the required period.