30 June is a date with which financial planners and their clients are equally familiar: the date on which paperwork must be filed with the Australian Tax Office (ATO). For the financial planner, this date produces two main challenges: keeping their clients’ affairs in order while constantly monitoring the government for any last-minute changes to rules or regulations that may be relevant to their clients.
In recent years, the industry trend has been to be much better prepared by 30 June, but the proximity of “Budget Night,” when the Government announces the budget for the next twelve months and 30 June can still present a busy six weeks or so for financial planners and taxpayers alike.
This year, the budget was announced on 13 May, leaving 47 days until the 30 June deadline to make any adjustments caused by changes in the budget. However, well-prepared financial planners stay on top of projected changes and see the timeframe as long enough to be prepared but short enough to discourage procrastination.
Future of Financial Advice (FOFA) Legislation and SMSFs
The area most affected by FOFA appears to be SMSFs. SMSF trustees now face fines of up to $10,200 for any breaches of their duties as trustees. All fines would be paid personally by the trustees out of their own funds. The fines, which go into effect on 1 July 2014, include criminal and civil penalties for schemes involving early release, along with rectification directions and education directions for trustees.
Rectification directions will require trustees to take actions to rectify the consequences of their wrongdoing, while education directions will require them to take educational courses regarding their obligations as SMSF trustees. Trustees will be required to finish their education and rectification within a firm time frame and provide proof of completion to the ATO.
Call the Professionals
If you are looking for great financial planners, call the professionals at Approved Financial Planners. Our expertise keeps you organised and on time every year.
To learn more about how our financial planners can organise your financial year, call (08) 6462 0888.