The ATO has reminded SMSF trustees on the importance of keeping accurate and timely records for meeting their obligations

With the new financial year approaching, the ATO said that SMSF trustees should refresh themselves on the types of records that they need to keep and the amount of time they need to keep them for.

“Good and timely record keeping helps you as a trustee meet your reporting obligations and to understand your financial position,” the ATO said in an online statement.

“You may also need to provide us with accurate records if we ask to see them.”

Some of the records that an SMSF may need to keep include the trust deed, trustee declarations, investment strategies, minutes of trustee meetings and decisions, annual returns and records required for preparing the SMSF annual return and accounts.

The ATO said that good record keeping also promotes good governance and makes the auditor’s job easier.

“It ensures all members of an SMSF are held responsible and accountable for their decisions. This helps avoid any disputes between trustees,” it said.

“For example, it is best practice to ensure fund investments are agreed to by all trustees by recording the agreement in meeting minutes and having all trustees sign the document.”

The ATO reminded trustees that its Starting a self-managed super fund publication contains examples of the types of records that they need to keep and the time period for which they must be kept. It also outlines many other obligations they have in setting up an SMSF.

Reference: Miranda Brownlee, SMSF Adviser.