ATO, APRA tougher on DIY super funds

The Australian Taxation Office and the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority are stepping up their scrutiny of superannuation funds. The ATO regulates the nation's 240,000 self-managed funds and has commenced a compliance project, initially looking at 5,000 SMFs. About 120 new SMFs are registered each month. The sector has about $95 million worth of assets with an average balance of $234,000 in each fund.

The ATO project, which will be completed by May and reported in August, will look at a range of compliance issues. APRA, which regulates all other super funds, has referred 21 cases to the Director of Public Prosecutions for non-lodgement of returns for 2002. This compares with 13 cases referred to the DPP in 2001.