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Why would SMSF Trustees disclose contraventions “voluntarily”?

The ATO’s SMSF early engagement and voluntary disclosure service allows trustees to be proactive in disclosing any contraventions as opposed to the ATO finding out via the SMSF’s annual audit and subsequent contravention report. By disclosing contraventions upfront, the trustees are seen to be in a much better position regarding any sanctions that might otherwise be applied.
DBA Lawyers recently published an article that summarises how the recent COVID-19 pandemic has effected this service.  Click here to read it in full:
https://www.dbalawyers.com.au/announcements/the-best-time-for-an-smsf-to-make-a-voluntary-disclosure-to-the-ato-is-now/
They note that the ATO has recognised that many Australians are experiencing financial hardship as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and therefore it is not pursuing its usual audit program. The ATO is currently seeking to resolve issues while minimising the financial sanctions and penalties that might otherwise be applied at a different point in time.
It has also been made apparent that this will not last forever. The ATO are aware of the leniency they are showing and reviewing the way in which they impose administrative penalties.
If you have a fund that is in breach, now may be the time to make the ATO aware.
Further information regarding how the voluntary disclosure service works can be found on the ATO website here. 
COVID-19 Frequently Asked Questions
There are a lot of questions we receive in regards to the current COVID-19 pandemic and how it relates to SMSFs.
Fortunately, the ATO have released a summary of the most popular frequently asked questions they receive.
This includes information on rent relief, early access and the reduction to the annual minimum pension payment, just to name a couple of topics.
We strongly encourage you to have a read of this and determine if it covers any outstanding queries your team may have.
Click here to access the ATO article.
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