Guide to SMSF

ATO as Regulator

SMSFs are regulated by the ATO. Although Trustees call on various professionals to assist them in meeting their responsibilities and obligations, such as accountants, tax agents, financial planners, administrators and approved auditors; the ultimate responsible for the running of an SMSF lies squarely with the Trustees.

The vast majority of Trustees operate their Funds within the rules, and the ATO is happy to work with Trustees to help them correct mistakes or fix any problems that may have occurred inadvertently. However, where the Fund is operated with deliberate or persistent disregard for the rules, the ATO will not hesitate to take action, including winding up Funds, disqualifying Trustees and issuing the fund with a notice of non-compliance.

For information and guidance on all aspects of SMSFs, the following excellent publications are available for download:

  1. Thinking about self-managed super – Six steps to work out if managing your own super is right for you
  2. Setting up a self-managed super fund – What you need to know
  3. Running a self-managed super fund – Your role and responsibilities as a trustees
  4. SMSFs – key messages for trustees
  5. Trustee declaration
  6. Notice of intent to claim or vary a deduction for personal super contributions
  7. Paying Benefits from an SMSF
  8. Winding up a self-managed super fund

The ATO releases information on a quarterly basis. It is clear from the statistics that SMSFs are a rapidly growing industry. For example, there are currently more than 598,429 SMSFs in existence. For more information about statistics generated by the ATO, click here.

When there’s uncertainty about a tax or regulatory matter concerning an SMSF, you can approach the ATO directly for SMSF specific advice.

To know more about SMSF, please see the ATO video below

How to run your SMSF


SMSF planning for the unexpected (relationship breakdown, incapacity, death)

  • Ib

    Hi my wife and I currently have a SMSF with a property in it thats being rented is it possible to have a 3d person join the smsf who isnt a family member or direct relation of either my wife or myself? Is this possible as someone told me me it has to be a direct family relation of ours…

    • superannuationwarehouse


      An SMSF can have up to 4 Members and the main requirements are that each Member must be a Trustee of the SMSF as well.

      In general, Members do not have to be from the same family unit but you can’t
      add a Member of a person you employ unless you are related. More guidance, see
      booklet 2 from the link below and read more on page 4:

      To add a new Member to your SMSF, see the guidance on this page:

      If we look after your Fund, we will execute the new Member appointment with the ATO
      and also ensure ASIC is updated if a Corporate Trustee is used.

  • Ben Van Baak

    I am currently considering to transfer to a SMSF in the future. Am I able to have a term deposit account in another country as my SMSF.

    The term deposit would be held in my partners name as it is her place of birth and provides better interest rates to nationals. Would this mean she would be required to be a trustee?

    Additionally can the funds from the SMSF once setup be
    withdrawn pysically and transferred as cash to the overseas account to avoid bank fees etc.

    • Hein Preller


      An SMSF must have a legally enforceable right at all times to the assets it owns.

      It can have bank accounts or term deposits locally or overseas, on the basis the investment strategy allows for these investments:

      As soon as the audit trail of transactions become blurry, for example keeping assets in cash or in somebody else’s name, this will raise alarm bells with auditors and regulators. Best to steer clear of these and run all items by the book with a clear audit trail.

      • Ben Van Baak

        Thanks Hein understood as relationships do end badly sometimes. If I were to have the accounts in my name and also reside overseas be an issue?

Contact Details


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We are Melbourne based with clients throughout Australia. Our SMSF administration service is mostly paperless. This enable us to charge a fair fee, resulting in a good value-proposition for you.

No Advice

Superannuation Warehouse is an accounting firm and do not provide financial advice. All information provided has been prepared without taking into account any of the Trustees’ objectives, financial situation or needs. Because of that, Trustees are advised to consider their own circumstances before engaging our services.