Navigating TBAR for Self-Managed Super Funds: What You Need to Know

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16 Oct 2023
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It is crucial to stay compliant when there are changes in the self-managed super funds (SMSFs) regulations, including a recent change to the Transfer Balance Account Report (TBAR). In this article, we will guide you through the essentials of TBAR and what it could mean for your SMSF.

Understanding TBAR

TBAR is a compliance requirement introduced by the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) to track events affecting a member’s transfer balance account within an SMSF. These events include the commencement of a retirement phase income stream and a lump sum withdrawal from a retirement phase income stream. By reporting these events, the ATO can ensure that the transfer balance cap, currently set at $1.9 million, is not exceeded by SMSF members.

Reporting Timeline Changes

Before 1 July 2023, SMSFs with no members exceeding a total super balance of $1 million could report transfer balance events annually, coinciding with the tax return lodgement date, typically on 15 May each year. This meant a reporting window of 10 ½ months after the end of the financial year.

However, as of 1 July 2023, a significant change came into effect – And all SMSFs, regardless of their members’ total super balances, are now required to report transfer balance events within 28 days after the quarter in which the event occurs. For example, if a pension commenced on 1 July 2023, it must be reported to the ATO by 28 October 2023.

Consequences of Non-Reporting

Failure to report transfer balance events to the ATO by the due date can expose your SMSF to potential penalties. The ATO may scrutinise your fund and the documentation related to the event, such as pension commencement documents. Timely reporting is essential to avoid these issues.

Timely Reporting Benefits

Apart from meeting ATO requirements, keeping your SMSF’s accounting records up to date throughout the year has several advantages. It allows your SMSF to implement strategies on a timely basis. For example, commencing pensions and other financial strategies promptly can help you realise potential tax benefits, such as tax-free income for the portion of your SMSF in the retirement phase.

TBAR reporting is now a fundamental requirement for SMSFs, and trustees need to be aware of their obligation to remain compliant with the ATO’s regulations. Understanding the new reporting timelines and the potential consequences of non-compliance is essential. Timely reporting keeps you in the ATO’s good books and allows you to make informed financial decisions within your SMSF.

At E&P SMSF Services, we are here to assist you in navigating these changes and ensuring your SMSF remains compliant. If you have any questions or need assistance with TBAR compliance or other SMSF-related matters, please don’t hesitate to contact us.



This communication was prepared by Evans and Partners Pty Ltd (ABN 85 125 338 785, AFSL 318075) (Evans and Partners). Evans and Partners and E&P SMSF Services Pty Limited (ABN 55 139 490 118) (E&P SMSF Services) are wholly owned subsidiaries of E&P Financial Group Limited (ABN 54 609 913 457) (E&P Financial Group) and related bodies corporate.

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