ATO a diligent regulator: SPAA
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Darin Tyson-Chan is a journalist with InvestorDaily, a Morningstar publication.
The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) is an appropriate and effective regulator of the self-managed superannuation fund (SMSF) sector and calls for greater scrutiny of the space from other industry sectors are unfounded, according to the head of a peak super association.
"The ATO has proven time and again how dedicated it is to the operation, administration and prudential regulation of the SMSF sector. SPAA (the SMSF Professionals' Association of Australia) has worked hard alongside of the ATO to get new penalty powers for the ATO, which are being introduced from the Cooper review to allow it to regulate more appropriately into the future," SPAA chief executive Andrea Slattery told InvestorDaily.
"We've also encouraged - and this has been supported by the ATO - an auditor registration program and an auditor penalty program that are being introduced.
"These are the small pieces of tinkering around the edges Cooper recommended. They are all being introduced, they are all being recommended by SPAA and they are all for the benefit and the integrity of the SMSF sector, and the ATO is the regulator of that sector and a very good one at that."
In response to reports the government is looking to amend some of the tax treatments within superannuation to make them less favourable, Slattery said it would be contradictory to the messages SPAA had received on that subject recently.
"We had commitment from the government that it would consider building confidence in the super system by allowing a period of time for the system to settle down so people could see how it worked after the reviews," she said.
"We've had the reviews, and I don't know if this is speculation or not, but it would be a big mistake for any government to continually fiddle with the regulatory environment. That might encourage people to allocate their money elsewhere."
Other news outlets on the weekend reported the government was looking to fund new initiatives in the education and disability space via changes to the rules goverening the nation's $1.4-trillion in retirement savings.