Fee increases for new auditors of self-managed superannuation funds (SMSFs) under the proposed fees-for-service model should be taking money collected by the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) at supervisory level into account to stop the market domination by major players, according to the Institute of Public Accountants (IPA).
IPA chief executive, Andrew Conway called out the one-off fee increase from $107 to $2,439 “exorbitant” and said the proposed new $899 deregistration fees was equally unfathomable.
Commenting on the $259 already collected by the ATO from every SMSF to finance the ATO’s SMSF-monitoring role on behalf of the Australian Securities and Investments Commission, Conway said the levy increase from $45 in 2008 to around $142.5 million had not taken into account every level at which SMFs are charged.
“The Government gave the ATO $10.6 million over five years to police registered auditors…some of the funding for the SMSF auditor registration process was also sourced by ASIC charging auditors to sit [a] SMSF auditor competency exam,” he said.
“We have a major concern over the impact these fees will have on competition, especially when there has already been a decline in the number of SMSF auditors in the market which is being dominated by the major players.”
Conway said IPA would call on the government to reconsider the proposed fee increase which could deter new market entrants.
“SMSF members…are well regulated in our co-regulatory system, which requires them to maintain their professional and ethical standards,” he said.
“While we understand the objectives of the new funding model and the role of ASIC, we now have a major concern.”