Self-Managed Super Funds: What you need to consider

If you’re currently engaged in a Self-Managed Super Fund, you can expect a call from the ATO. They’re contacting tens of thousands of SMSF trustees to check if the funds are being properly managed, including adequate paperwork is in place.

The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) has announced it will soon be contacting SMSF trustees to enquire whether their fund has adequate diversification and documentation across its investment portfolio strategy.

To minimise the chance of receiving a call from the ATO, we have highlighted key considerations to be aware of when reviewing your SMSF investment strategy.

The SIS Act

When making any investment decision, SMSF trustees should consider section 62 of the Superannuation Industry  (Supervision) Act 1993 – better known as the SIS Act. The legislation states that SMSFs must be maintained solely to provide benefits in retirement or benefits to dependants upon a member’s death.

Ensure assets are held in the correct name

SMSF trustees are responsible for ensuring the assets of the fund are kept separate from personal and business assets. When making investments, trustees should ensure the assets clearly identify the legal ownership of the fund. There are occasions when an asset cannot be held specifically in the SMSF’s name – our Superannuation specialists can help explain in more detail.

Certain investment restrictions

SMSF trustees have restrictions on them about the type of asset they choose to acquire within the fund. In addition, the trustee must also take into account the rules of their SMSF. Again, there are some exceptions, therefore we recommend SMSF trustees make an appointment with our team before making any investment decisions.


While SMSFs are not prohibited from investing in cryptocurrencies (i.e. Bitcoin) the investment must:

  • Be specifically allowed for under the fund’s trust deed
  • Be in accordance with the fund’s investment strategy, and
  • Comply with the SIS Act and regulations

It’s recommended SMSF trustees should consider the level of risk of cryptocurrency investment and, if necessary, update the fund’s investment strategy to ensure the investment being considered is permitted and documented.


Short term holiday rentals (i.e Airbnb) are a popular way to rent out a property. While there is nothing in the legislation that prevents a SMSF from renting the fund’s property in this way, it is important the investment strategy is documented appropriately, considers the risks associated with this type of rental arrangement and the fund’s short-term and long-term liquidity and cash flow requirements.

As always, if you require any further information or clarity on what’s been included in this article, please don’t hesitate to book an appointment with our friendly team of experts – contact us today.