SMSF Certificate of Compliance tweak — at ATO request

Aug 2010

In June, we made a minor change — kindly suggested by the ATO — to the SMSF Certificate of Compliance we provide. The change should help prevent the recurring of a minor inconvenience that a couple of our customers had when rolling funds out of their APRA-regulated fund into their SMSF.


Here's an outline of:

  • How the inconvenience arose
  • The solution — what we changed to prevent it arising again — with input from the ATO
  • What to do if you are rolling money from an APRA-regulated fund into your SMSF.

How the inconvenience arose ...

Here's how the inconvenience arose for some of our customers:

  • ATO Certificate required When an SMSF member wants to roll their money from an APRA-regulated fund into their SMSF, the APRA fund asks the SMSF trustee(s) for a “Notice of Compliance”. That Notice is provided by the ATO as part of the ATO's first annual review of the SMSF — which happens about 12 months after the SMSF is set up.
  • But SMSF didn't yet have ATO Notice An SMSF that had not yet had its annual ATO review did not yet have its ATO's Notice of Compliance.
  • So SMSF Trustee(s) provide a different certificate (one that Cleardocs provides) When some SMSF members of an SMSF, that had not yet had its review and received its Notice of Compliance, wanted to roll money into an SMSF they had just set up through Cleardocs, they thought that the Certificate of Compliance that Cleardocs provided was the ATO Notice that the APRA fund wanted. So those members gave the Cleardocs certificate to the APRA fund.
  • APRA fund checks SMSF's status The APRA fund then checked the SMSF's status on and saw that the ATO has not yet issued the Notice of Compliance for that SMSF.
  • APRA fund concerned about possible fraud At this stage, some APRA funds became concerned that either:
    • the SMSF members were seeking to fraudulently access their SMSF funds before they were eligible to do so; or
    • criminals were trying to steal money from someone else's SMSF.
  • APRA alerts ATO So the APRA funds contacted the ATO and alerted it to the possible fraud.

The solution

The ATO then contacted us and together we worked out a solution. The

Certificate of Compliance that Cleardocs provides now prominently:

  • describes itself as “Trustee's Certificate of Compliance” — previously it was a “Certificate of Compliance”; and
  • includes a statement that it is not the Notice of Compliance that the ATO provides.

As far as we know, there have been no further problems.

What to do if you are rolling money from an APRA fund into your SMSF and you don't have the ATO's Notice?

If you are rolling money from an APRA fund into your SMSF and you don't yet have the ATO's notice, then refer the APRA fund to