From 1 July 2007, all new trustees (and directors of corporate trustees) of an SMSF must sign a declaration, within 21 days of taking up their post, stating that they understand their duties as a trustee (or director of the corporate trustee).
The declaration, which is available from the Tax Office’s (ATO’s) website, must be retained by the fund’s trustees for as long as the person is a trustee (or director of the corporate trustee). If this period is less than 10 years, it must be retained for at least 10 years.
Failure to sign and retain the declaration, or make it available when requested, may result in penalties being imposed.
Editor: Note that it does not need to be lodged with the ATO.
The fund’s complying status may be removed if trustees fail to meet their obligations in relation to the declaration and there have been other serious breaches of the superannuation laws (which can result in the fund’s assets being taxed at 45%).
The ATO recommends that their publication "Self managed super fund – Key messages for trustees" be read with the declaration.
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