Record keeping for Self-Managed Super Funds

Whilst self-managed super funds (SMSFs) provide members with a high degree of control over their retirement savings, with this control also comes responsibility.

As a trustee one of your responsibilities is to ensure proper and accurate tax and super records are kept.

Whilst an annual SMSF financial and compliance audit requires the trustee to provide certain source documents, records that are more extensive than those requested by the auditor are to be retained by the trustee for a period of 5-10 years (or maybe longer such as documents that cover many years e.g. trustee deed and pension documents).

The ATO have provided the below minimum record keeping requirements:

Records to be kept for a minimum of 5 years:

  • accurate and accessible accounting records that explain the transactions and financial position of your SMSF

  • documentation showing decisions made about what benefit payment type was paid (pension, lump sum or a combination of both) and the account the payment was paid from

  • an annual operating statement and an annual statement of your SMSF’s financial position

  • copies of all SMSF annual returns lodged

  • copies of transfer balance account reports lodged

  • copies of any other statements you are required to lodge with the ATO or provide to other super funds.

Records to be kept for a minimum of 10 years:

  • minutes of trustee meetings and decisions (if matters affecting your fund were discussed, for example you reviewed the fund's investment strategy, or the commencement or commutation - in part or in full - of an income stream)

  • records of all changes of trustees

  • trustee declarations recognising the obligations and responsibilities for any trustee, or director of a corporate trustee, appointed after 30 June 2007

  • members’ written consent to be appointed as trustees

  • copies of all reports given to members

  • documented decisions about storage of collectables and personal use assets.

There are a number of administrative, reporting and record-keeping obligations required to ensure SMSFs comply with superannuation and taxation legislation. These obligations are ultimately the responsibility of the fund trustees and non-compliance can result in substantial ATO penalties.

For a more information regarding record-keeping requirements, visit the ATO or contact our office on 8418 2111.