There have been several cases where SMSF advisers have been held liable for loss suffered in an SMSF. However, in a recent case, the AAT did not accept a director of an SMSF trustee blaming their accountant for SMSF compliance breaches.
In Fitzmaurice and Commissioner of Taxation (Taxation)  AATA 2217, the director was disqualified due to her conduct and breaches of the Superannuation Industry (Supervision) Act 1993.
One of the reasons the director gave for the actions she took was that she acted in accordance with advice given by their accountant.
The AAT was not prepared to accept that as an excuse as the director did not prove that was part of her accountant’s retainer.
This case reinforces the need for all advisers to carefully consider and document their retainer – the work they are doing (and not doing) for their clients (especially where SMSFs are involved).
For more details about this case, click here.