The federal government has been too ambitious with the proposed stronger superannuation start dates, writes director of Pitcher Partners, Brad Twentyman.
The Federal Government should postpone the 1 July 2012 start date for self managed superannuation fund changes and increased reporting obligations on business to provide enough time to transition into the new regime.
The proposed start date is unrealistic, particularly given no draft legislation has been released, there is still significant consultation required to finalise much of the detail and it's already the end of September.
If the scenario is that legislation goes through on 30 June 2012 and receives Royal Assent, it won't give trustees, business or advisors enough time to prepare for the new requirements.
There are a number of matters due to start from 1 July 2012 that will have a direct impact on trustees and business, either from a planning or compliance perspective.
The proposals include introducing new valuation requirements for self managed fund with assets not listed on an approved exchange (investments in art, property or unlisted trust investments for example). Transfers of assets in-specie into a self managed superannuation fund will also be restricted. There will be new self managed fund reporting requirements to facilitate Tax Office statistical needs and, finally, employers are being asked to once again beef up contribution reporting on employee payslips.
We need a level of certainty to be in a position to gear up for these reforms and that requires legislation.
Only then can we advise clients on the implications and how they should set themselves up to comply, ie changing their internal systems (such as payroll) etc.
These reforms started four years ago, and asking for another 12 months so the detail can be considered and planned for seems entirely reasonable.
Brad Twentyman is a director of superannuation at Pitcher Partners business advisory and accounting firm.