We’ve become aware of recent ASIC surveillance activity in the SMSF advice space.
It’s apparent that ASIC and the ATO are conducting a data matching program in relation to the establishment of SMSFs (at least, for the period May to September 2016).
From what we’ve been advised, ASIC are contacting the accountant involved with the establishment of the SMSF in the first instance, and then their licensee (assuming they’re licensed – if not, that’s a big problem for the accountant).
We believe ASIC’s review will include licensing compliance, the nature of advice provided by the accountant (including the documentation provided and records kept) and, in particular, the client’s best interest duty.
We expect ASIC activity in this area to increase in the near future, so it’s important for members to review their advice processes for SMSFs and other clients requiring superannuation advice, and ensure they are not providing unlicensed advice to their clients.
This extends beyond just the establishment of SMSFs, and also includes any contribution/rollover, pension and LRBA strategies.
If you’re unsure about licensing requirements and what you can and can’t advise your clients, please refer to our website (www.ntaa.com.au) or contact our compliance team at SMSF Advisers Network on 1800 906 456.