SMSF Basics – Trustees of an SMSF must sign a Trustee Declaration

Understanding Trustee Declaration

A new Trustee of a new or existing SMSF must sign the ATO Trustee Declaration form within 21 days of becoming an SMSF Trustee where it states that you: ‘Understand my duties and responsibilities as a Trustee or Director of the Corporate Trustee of the Self-Managed Superannuation Fund named on this declaration . . .’.

The purpose is to confirm that you understand your responsibilities as Fund Trustee. As Trustee, you’re still subject to these responsibilities even when you don’t sign the document. If you don’t sign the Trustee Declaration, however, you may be subject to penalties.

Before you sign the Trustee Declaration, you must read the ATO Fact Sheet ‘Self-Managed Super Funds — key messages for trustees’ (NAT 71128). The fact sheet states that you’re responsible for managing your fund, and that you must understand your trustee duties and responsibilities, which include:

  • Ensuring your SMSF is maintained for the purpose of providing retirement benefits, which is more commonly known as meeting the sole purpose test.
  • Drafting the fund’s investment strategy and making investment decisions.
  • Accepting contributions and paying benefits.
  • Appointing an approved auditor for each income year.
  • Lodging annual returns with the ATO and keeping fund records.

You can download a copy of both forms from the ATO website (publication number: NAT 71089).


About SuperBenefitnews

Self-Managed Superannuation Service Providers in Australia. SuperBenefit provides a wholistic SMSF assistance, education and administration service continuum - 1. “assistance” is help of whatsoever nature where our overall SMSF experience and knowledge enables us to provide assistance/help without any legal (or “license”) limitations. 2. “education” involves providing knowledge through teaching, coaching and mentoring about all matters SMSF, including (but not limited to) investment issues such as equities and property, 3. “administration” encompasses all admin aspects of legally required SMSF trustee and member record keeping including (but not limited to) audit and ATO matters. In keeping with our key point that SuperBenefit does not provide Financial Advice, where issues arise from 1, 2, and/or 3 above Indicate a need for a legally authorized provider (such as a Financial Adviser) and the client does not have their own service provider, the client can utilize SuperBenefit’s ‘Connect Assist’ … SuperBenefit, in itself, does not provide Financial Advice, but it does provide the wherewithal for great SMSF service. WE do not provide Financial Advice or any other service that requires a legally authorized provider. However, where such advice or service is required we have our ‘Connect Assist’, a SuperBenefit resource we use to connect clients to a Licensed Advisor or other legally authorised service provider. Call us 0407 361 596, no obligation FREE Connection call to see how we can help you!
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