Delays with the ATO

Why the delay

This webpage has been sent to you because the ATO have not provided an ABN or they are stalling on approving the ABN for your SMSF.

Most of our SMSF’s are approved by the ATO within 5-7 days, however, legally they have 28 days to approve or deny the fund. Sometimes the ATO will withhold the SMSF approval until they speak with you to make sure you understand your responsibilities in running an SMSF. The over arching principles of running your own SMSF are that …

  1. You understand you cannot use the funds for personal use. Not ever, not even once.
  2. Every decision and action made needs to be “for the benefit of the members in retirement” (this means your actions need to always and only be for the benefit of you when reach retirement age and beyond)
  3. Every single asset and account needs to be seperate from your personal assets and accounts.

If the ATO have not issued an ABN or approved the fund you need to call them to push the approval through. Most of the time it is something like different address on their records, wife not changing name after marriage or something like that.

The only thing you can do is keep call them and follow the instructions outlined below.

Unfortunately this part is out of our hands until the approval comes through.

Here are the steps.

  • Call the ATO SMSF line on 13 10 20
  • Quote the ABN (or ABN application reference number) for the fund.
  • If the ATO rep asks for the address of the fund provide your address.
  • Tell them that this was lodged on (we will provide the date) and that you are are waiting for approval .
  • Ask them if there is anything else they need and when it will be approved.
  • They might say that they have 28 days and to call back then. If it has been only a day or 2 please call back a few days later as the fund details might not have been loaded into their system yet. If it has been over 28 days, be pushy. Do not be afraid to ask for the manager or team leader until you get an answer.
  • If they give you your ABN over the phone please email us the ABN so we can add it to our system.
  • Please also let us know how you go either way.
  • Once the ABN is approved we will forward your Welcome Pack which has written and video instructions on the the next steps, bank account, rollover etc.
    If the ATO rep states that you are being allocated a case manager then you are likely getting an initial audit. This is a 20 minute phone interview and a double check of the paperwork relating to the SMSF. The audit does not have anything to do with your personal finances unless you are years behind your other tax obligations. Please notify us if you are being allocated a case manager or told that you are receiving an initial audit so we can send your your docs with instructions on how to proceed. It is a bit of a pain and slows down approval by a couple of weeks but nothing to be concerned about if you follow our instructions.
    You can check the status of your fund by entering your fund’s ABN (if you have one) here:

We understand this delay can be frustrating but unfortunately there is nothing we can do but wait for the ATO to do their thing here. If you have any queries throughout the process please let us know and we will assist where we can.