Record keeping tips for Self Managed Superannuation Funds
The end of the financial year seems to come around quickly and it’s that time you when need to start gathering your Self Managed Superannuation Fund (SMSF) information to arrange preparation and lodgement of your SMSF financial statements and annual return.
Concise Super, SMSF Specialists have put together some record keeping tips for our Guardian Gold clients.
1. Store your documents in one central place
Choose a filing system that you are comfortable with. Either a manual folder system with sections or an electronic filing system. When you receive your SMSF documents throughout the year, action it and file it.
2. Create a simple filing system
For the paper shufflers – create a folder for the current financial year, i.e. 2017. After each document is actioned, i.e. receipt for payment of safe deposit box; file it. Ensure the document relates to the correct financial year. The folder should be emptied at the end of the financial year (after 30 June) for your SMSF Accountant. Once the original documents are returned from your SMSF Accountant, label the file (i.e. 2017) and store them elsewhere for safekeeping. Reuse the folder for the next financial year.
For the computer savy – create an electronic filing system on your PC or cloud account for the current financial year, i.e. 2017. Save all SMSF documents received for the current financial year. Once the financial year has ended, you can send the file to your SMSF Accountant. Create a new electronic folder for the next financial year, thus keeping each year separated.
Note, sometimes there can be a timing issue. For example, a statement dated 30 June is issued in September. Check all document dates to ensure it relates to the current financial year.
3. Simplify how you receive your paperwork
Be consistent with your mailing address. Use one postal mailing address and one email address to receive your statements, accounts, receipts etc. Review and update your preferred address to suit how you store your documents (manual or electronic).
4. Keep your tax records for the correct time frame
Having an organised filing system will ensure you can access previous years documents if and when needed.
The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) requires Trustees to keep the following documents for at least 5 years:?
- Accounting records explaining transactions including the documents to support the transactions;
- ?SMSF financial statements including, an annual operating statement, balance sheet and members’ statement;
- SMSF lodged annual return and audit report;
- Any other statements required to lodge with the ATO or provide to other super funds.
The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) requires Trustees to keep the following documents for at least 10 years:
- ?Minutes of trustee meetings and decisions specifically affecting your fund. For example, discussion regarding the fund’s investment strategy;
- ?Records of all changes of trustees;
- ?Trustee declarations recognising the obligations and responsibilities for any trustee, or director of a corporate trustee, appointed after 30 June 2007;
- ?Members’ written consent to be appointed as trustees;
- ?Copies of all reports given to members;
- ?Documented decisions about storage of collectables (i.e. bullion) and personal use assets.
Trustees should also keep the following records for capital gains tax purposes:
- ?Purchase and sale contract notes i.e. gold and/or silver;
- Purchase and sale contracts i.e. property.
Generally, if an asset was purchased and later sold, it is important to keep the records for at least 5 years after the sale date (verifying the purchase and sale dates).
Ensure you have a fully signed copy of your Trust Deed, which should be kept for the life of the fund.
The ATO requires all records to be in writing and in English. When keeping electronic records, they must be capable of being verified, and in an understandable and accessible format.
5. Always sign and date your records
Where you are required to sign documents always date your signature. These include important annual compliance records (financial statements, members’ statements, minutes and annual returns). This confirms that you have reviewed your annual compliance records and are aware of your tax obligations, members’ balances, asset and investment allocations etc as a trustee and member. Keep a copy of signed and dated records.
6. Don’t assume your Accountant handles everything
As a trustee you are ultimately responsible for your SMSF. Therefore, if you appoint professionals like an Accountant and independent Auditor to assist you with your fund, you still need to know your compliance obligations (lodgement dates, GST, PAYG instalments, final tax payable/refundable positions), and where to access your records (your filing system and/or records kept by your Accountant).
SMSF Accountants must have sufficient documentation to support the transactions that occurred in the fund when preparing the annual tax compliance reports and annual return. SMSF Auditors must have sufficient documentation to support their findings and opinions when conducting the annual audit.
Following these simple 6 tips, recommended by Concise Super ensures you are following the current record keeping requirements as a trustee for your SMSF.
Please provide your details and we will contact you to discuss your needs.
Please provide your details to reserve space at Guardian Vaults.