5 Common Mistakes in SMSF Annual Return You Need to Avoid

Everyone makes errors from time to time. When preparing and lodging your self-managed super fund (SMSF) annual return (SAR), you want to get it right. The top five errors are listed below, along with some advice on how to avoid them and where to find the best accounting firms on Sunshine Coast. 

Not Stating a Bank Account in Your Fund’s Name 

You’ll need a bank account in your fund’s name to handle SMSF operations and accept contributions, rollovers of super, and investment income. When filing your SAR, you must include this account.

The account must be kept distinct from the accounts of your trustees and any associated employers or advisers. This will safeguard that you enjoy the benefits of SMSF and guarantee that super payments may be made to it.

Using The Wrong Electronic Service Address (ESA)

If you have members earning super from non-related jobs, an ESA permits your SMSF to receive electronic remittance advice and contributions.

An ESA is made up of alphanumeric characters that are case sensitive and contain a mix of upper- and lower-case characters. It’s not an email address or the SMSF messaging provider’s contact information.

Disregarding Assets In SMSF At Market Value 

To create your fund’s accounts, statements, and SAR, assets must be recorded at market value as of June 30. Your valuation will be accepted if you fulfil the appraisal rules.

It’s critical to have accurate asset valuations to keep your SMSF compliant. Inaccurate appraisals may result in penalties since they adversely affect your members’ balances.

Lodging With Zero Assets 

An SMSF isn’t legally created unless it has assets put aside for its members’ benefit. A SAR from an SMSF with no assets will not be accepted unless the fund is being wound up.

If this is your SMSF’s first year and you have no assets put aside for the benefit of your members, you can ask us to either terminate or indicate your fund’s registration as return not necessary (RNN).

Missing or Incorrectly Indicating Auditor Information in the SAR

Before lodging the Annual Return, your SMSF must have its financial accounts and records audited by a qualified SMSF auditor each year (SAR). Take note that within 45 days before your SAR is due, you’ll need to employ an approved SMSF audit in Australia. 

Take note of the following: 

  • Before filing your SAR, get a copy of the audit report.
  • On the SAR, report the accurate auditor information, including the SMSF auditor number, auditor name, and audit data.
  • If you submit your SAR without providing authorized SMSF auditor details, it will be stopped and not accepted. The fund’s compliance status will be affected until the SAR is submitted with the appropriate information.

You might be fined for making a false and misleading statement if the auditor’s information is wrong.

The advantages of incorporating your ABN

We urge you to disclose your Australian business number (ABN) on your SAR since it assists systems in appropriately matching your members. This guarantees that the SMSF account data is presented when a member accesses ATO online services.

If your member is filling out the following forms online, they will be able to select their SMSF account.

  • compassionate release of super
  • early release of super
  • excess concessional contribution election
  • excess non-concessional contribution election
  • Division 293 election

If your member utilizes a registered tax agent, it also implies that the member’s SMSF account data is displayed on online services for agents.

You may not need to file a return for the first year your fund was registered if it did not have any assets.


Preparing an SMSF annual return is a major undertaking that must be done correctly if you don’t want your fund to become non-compliant and be required to pay tax at a rate of 45% on the fund’s entire value, excluding non-tax-deductible contributions.

SMB Accounting delivers a high-quality SMSF audit in Australia. Apart from that, we also perform various sorts of audits to guarantee that you understand how your business or finances will make the best decisions. Get in touch with us to learn more!