Why is SMSF Record Keeping so Important?

One of your many responsibilities as a trustee of an SMSF is ensuring proper record keeping of all tax and compliance documentation. Inadequate record keeping can often lead to major problems for trustees.

  • Appropriate record keeping ensures you as a trustee have acted in accordance with the SIS Act and will help you maintain a complying SMSF.
  • Accurate records can help trustees manage a fund more efficiently
  • It makes your auditor’s job easier and more efficient which should lower audit costs.

It’s also important that all your tax and compliance documentation is available to the funds approved auditor. The documents also need to be made available to the ATO upon request.

The ATO has updated its requirements to allow trustees to file fund documentation electronically. This enables trustees to take advantage of potential time savings however all source documents must be easy to find and accessible at all times.

Time frame for keeping SMSF records

It is a requirement the following records are kept on file and made accessible to the funds approved auditor and the ATO if requested.

At least five years

  • Accurate accounting records that explain each transaction of your super fund;
  • Annual operating statements of your fund’s financial position;
  • Copies of all Annual Returns lodged for your fund.

At least ten years

  • Minutes of trustee meetings and decisions;
  • Any records relating to changes within the fund;
  • Trustee declarations and the members consent to act;
  • Copies of all reports given to the trustees;
  • Documentation relating to any contributions, deductions, capital gains and losses;
  • Documents relating to collectables and personal use assets.

If any of these documents not be available within the relevant time period, you can face penalties from the ATO.

For further information on the requirement of SMSF record keeping, please visit the ATO website.