SMSF Crypto Accounting What Does That Mean? [Step by Step Complete Guide]

By November 13, 2021 Blogs

Crypto Investing in an SMSF is growing in popularity. So, what do you need to know to get some of your super invested in crypto? 

Well, the first step is to set up an SMSF.

A specialist SMSF Crypto Accounting provider should be your first port of call. A specialist SMSF Crypto Accountant like My SMSF, has the experience and expertise to assist Crypto clients as they embark on their journey to grow their super retirement nest egg.

Experience and expertise in SMSF Crypto Accounting can be the difference between, higher costs and more time spent on administration tasks, which can be stressful and frustrating. 

Next in the SMSF Crypto Administration checklist is making sure your fund deed has specific clauses allowing crypto investing.

Whilst it is not critical, it does give SMSF trustees and members more certainty and guidance on their crypto investing journey as the deeds PDS can shed more light on allowed activities within an SMSF.

A final, checklist for vetting SMSF crypto accountants, is to check the following: 

  • Experience
  • Knowledge
  • Technology and SMSF management process

Investing in crypto via an SMSF is not for everyone and for those that have experience with crypto investing outside super and are keen to responsibly and more conservatively duplicate some of their success via their SMSF, an expert SMSF Crypto Accounting is critical.

It’s fair to say, that there are many types of providers offering SMSF services, such as:

  • Accounting groups (small & large)
  • SMSF Online Providers 
  • Large tax groups and financial adviser services

SMSF crypto accountants like My SMSF / My SMSF Property SMSF crypto accounting specialists, with five years’ experience and the technology and tools to assist SMSF members investing in bitcoin and cryptocurrencies. 

SMSF Crypto Accounting Investing Checklist:

Set up an SMSF as a first step. Costs for setting up can vary from $880 to $3300 depending on whom you choose. 

Checklist:

  • Identify a suitable SMSF crypto accounting service
  • Check all their fees for the service
  • Complete an SMSF course so you understand your responsibilities 
  • Check that the provider uses an independent auditor 

Here are three (3) types of accounting providers:

a) Large bank-owned operators that have a great suite of tools but come with high percentage-based fees % or high flat fees based on the value of your SMSF.

If you get a 10x gain in crypto and your provider charges a % based fee, a large crypto gain, can result in a dramatic increase in fees.

b) Accounting groups and local accountants. These providers charge fees that tend to range from $1800 to $3500 per annum for SMSF Tax and Audit services* These providers charge based on the number of transactions in your fund or the hours taken to complete your work.

c) Online SMSF Administration providers like My SMSF, who charge a flat fixed fee and do not restrict where, and with who and how you invest. Online provider fees start at $990 per annum and go up to $2500 per annum for tax and audit services. My SMSF has a flat $1,100 fee for Bronze Care SMSFs with chat and email support.

Watch out for low-fee SMSF providers who restrict which providers you can use. Often these funds returns are subsidized by referral fees and commissions making their fees cheap to new SMSF members.

SMSFs set up for crypto investing are typically set up by IT and financial professionals, small business owners, and trades and mining workers, according to data from My SMSF. 

This SMSF is set up by couples and individuals, who are seeking gains to purchase property and to grow their retirement nest egg, and diversify and manage market risks.

As the laws stand, larger retail and industry fund super providers, do not allow direct crypto investing, although new listings of ETFs mean these funds will be able to provide their clients with direct exposures to crypto.

KEY SMSF CRYPTO SAFEGUARDS:

To keep your SMSF compliant, members must ensure the following rules are adhered to. 

1) Invest in assets that are allowed by the SMSF deed and are suitable for all of the SMSFs members having considered everyone’s risk appetite and that fits section 62 of the SIS Act 

For example, some deeds do not allow derivatives, some will not allow crypto mining or crypto bots.

2) Make sure your SMSF Investments are in the name of the SMSF Trustee company or the SMSF as per section 4.09a of the SIS Act.

For Example, setting up an SMSF and using an existing crypto exchange account which is in the fund’s members’ name, but not in the SMSFs name.

3) Making sure that investments are commercial and at arm’s length as per section 109 of the SIS Act.

For Example, using an existing cold wallet to hold crypto assets owned by an SMSF. 

RISKS & RESPONSIBILITIES:

Investing in crypto is highly risky and complicated. It is not a suitable investment for many SMSF members. If you do embark on SMSF crypto investing, you MUST be educated.

SMSF Learning and Education Sources:

  • ATO SMSF Videos
  • ATO SMSF and Crypto Tax Determinations 
  • Money Smart SMSF pages
  • ATO Free SMSF Course List

Once you have viewed these sites and gained a good understanding of your responsibilities, you are ready to appoint your SMSF Crypto Accounting.

Remember that you should seek legal or specialist crypto advice. Investing in cryptocurrencies in an SMSF will result in an increase in the administration and audit costs for the SMSF. 

Before investing in crypto-assets, trustees should consider the following:

  • Keep your trust deed and investing strategy up to date .

  • Make sure your SMSF has a separate cash account and a separate SMSF Crypto exchange account so that all crypto trades are made in the name of the fund with the fund’s monies and not personal funds or via a personally held crypto exchange account, which would result in a breach.

  • Check with the SMSF administrator or accountant, so you can understand what information and documentation will be required to complete the funds crypto tax work. Further, find out what funds the independent auditor will seek at the end of the financial year.

SMSF Setup Steps:

You will the following information and details provided to your SMSF Administrator or Accountant:

  • The name of the SMSF:

Most funds use their member’s surname and first name initials to name their SMSF.

Eg: T & J Jones Super Fund 

  • Trustee Company:

Usually, most SMSF members use the same name as the SMSF name Eg: T & J Jones Super Fund Pty Ltd.

A signed copy of the SMSF trust deed is required and your SMSF administrator normally includes this cost with the setup fee.

FAQS:

Is it legal to invest in crypto via an SMSF?

The super laws do not specifically restrict investing in crypto, however, all investments must meet section 62 (The sole purpose test) which requires members of SMSFs to invest in assets that are suitable to obtain capital gains and income for the SMSF having considered all members risk appetites.

As long as the fund deed allows crypto and bitcoin and the fund’s investment strategy is updated to reflect cryptocurrency and the fund reports all assets transactions in its financials and tax reporting. Bitcoin and cryptocurrency investing are not restricted to an SMSF or its members.

Some complexities with cryptocurrency Investing? 

  • Many complicated concepts, such as wallets, private keys, and blockchains, which are unfamiliar to members and their accountants
  • Price volatility and extreme price movement between 3% – 15% in 5 minutes to an hour, which can unsettle the most seasoned investor.
  • It is not tangible and not held by a reputable financial institution, which is a concern for a lot of older Australians
  • The recent crypto senate submission will result in changes to crypto for NFTs, DAOs, and business services.

CONCLUSION:

An SMSF Crypto Accounting, with the requisite experience and knowledge, will save SMSF members a lot of time, cost, and stress. Specialists like My SMSF are always the best option.

 

Best practices must be observed by SMSFs and their members investing in crypto. Using specialist exchanges, separate cold wallets, and security management. These measures will ensure your fund remains compliant and that ATO penalties and fines are avoided, to the detriment of the fund and its members.

 

 

 

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