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16-207MR ASIC warns 185 SMSF auditors to lodge annual statements or their registration will be cancelled
ASIC is sending a final warning to 185 approved SMSF auditors that their registration will be cancelled if their outstanding annual statements are not lodged with fees paid by 22 July 2016.
As part of its compliance program, ASIC contacted SMSF auditors who had not lodged their annual statements. ASIC sent emails and letters and telephoned the auditors using the current contact details provided by them. While most of the auditors responded by lodging their outstanding annual statements and paying their lodgement fees, 185 auditors are still yet to comply.
There has been ample time for auditors to come to grips with their responsibilities and multiple reminders have been issued. Auditors who do not ensure that they are aware of and meet their obligations face the risk of losing their registration. An unregistered auditor is not permitted to audit an SMSF. Conducting an audit of an SMSF when not permitted to do may have further serious consequences for the fund and the auditor.
Approved SMSF auditors can confirm if they have lodged annual statements or update their contact details by accessing their ASIC Connect account.
SMSF trustees and members can check whether their auditor is registered, or whether a person has been disqualified, by searching ASIC's SMSF Auditor register.
From 1 July 2013, the Superannuation Industry (Supervision) Act 1993 required all auditors of SMSFs to be registered with ASIC. This was to ensure that all SMSF auditors at least meet the base standards of competency and expertise.
ASIC and the ATO work closely together as co-regulators of SMSF auditors. The ATO monitors SMSF auditor conduct and may refer matters to ASIC for possible action such as disqualification or suspension of their registration.
Approved SMSF auditors need to lodge an annual statement with ASIC within 30 days of the annual anniversary of their registration. ASIC sends email notifications on anniversary dates advising that annual statements are ready for completion. If an extension of time to lodge the annual statement is required, a written request to ASIC must be made before the due date. An annual statement is not lodged until the required lodgement fee has been paid.
ASIC notified 811 approved SMSF auditors that they had not met their annual statement requirement and that ASIC may cancel their registration. This included 95 auditors that had lodged annual statements but had not paid their lodgement fee. 626 auditors subsequently lodged their annual statement or paid outstanding fees.
Changes to approved SMSF auditor contact details, including email and mailing addresses, must be provided to ASIC within 21 days of the change occurring. There is no fee to update these details.
Approved SMSF auditors seeking to cancel their registration voluntarily can do so by completing a cancellation request form, available on ASIC's website.
Further information can be found on ASIC's website and in ASIC Regulatory Guide RG 243 Registration of self-managed superannuation fund auditors (RG 243).