SMSF Crypto Auditing [A Best Complete Easy Guide]

By January 24, 2022 Blogs

Cryptocurrencies, held in a self-managed super fund (SMSF) must be audited just as all fund assets must be each year. This audit must be conducted by an ASIC registered SMSF certified auditor.

Some concerns for auditors with cryptocurrencies held in an SMSF are the following:

● The Investment strategy reflects crypto-asset exposure
● The fund’s deed allows crypto investing, all though this is not essential
● The fund has acquired assets in the name of the super fund or super fund trustee company and can demonstrate arm’s length and separation of assets requirements
● Wallets used to store Crypto assets are
a) Cold wallets b) exchange hot wallets
The wallet was purchased using money
From the fund account.
● Exchange accounts are established with providers that recognize an SMSF or its corporate Trustee company as the account holder
● The fund provides proofs for tax and audit purposes that include:
a) Transaction list for the financial year
b) Buy / sell receipts
c) A valuation of crypto held on the 30th of June each year
d) Demonstrate SMSF funds were used to acquire assets, with fund bank statements reflecting transfers into exchange accounts

Auditor Independence:

SMSF crypto auditing must be conducted by an independent auditor on an annual basis. When the fund’s annual return is completed.

SMSF Crypto Auditing Average cost:

Typically, an SMSF crypto auditing fee is around $550 and has remained so for the last five financial years, according to ATO figures.
So, what determines the cost of SMSF crypto auditing? Several factors are included in the equation that may cause the cost to go up or come down. One factor includes the ‘complexity’ of the transactions involved with SMSFs investing in crypto. Types of activities may involve trading, staking, mining, and other activities.

Another factor that determines the audit cost is the number of members in the fund. As announced in July 2021, there can be six members for an SMSF. Whereas, previously, only four were allowed. The higher the number of members, the more time-consuming it will be, and the higher the cost.

The fee of SMSF crypto auditing can go up when the frequency of investment transactions is high. Moreover, the effectiveness of the trustees in keeping a record of all transactions plays an important role for auditors. A large amount of time and cost depends on the processes and systems followed by the fund members in keeping financial records.

Appointing an SMSF Auditor:

For SMSF crypto auditing, the fund members need a registered auditor with a valid SMSF auditor number (SAN). My SMSF uses an experienced Crypto SMSF Auditor, for our clients, who has five years and who has personal experience with crypto in his SMSF.

In a recent discovery by the ATO, SMSF auditors have drastically decreased from over 6000 to only 4000. This comes as a surprise as the number of SMSFs is increasing at the same time. Therefore, it only goes on to show that consolidation in this sector was inevitable.

How is SMSF Crypto Auditing Done?

The auditing process of an SMSF contains two parts, the financial audit, and the compliance audit. An SMSF auditor will do both as part of the complete process.

Auditing:

The financial audit will include an audit of all financial statements like the income statement, balance sheet, and each member’s statements. These audits are conducted on the basis set by the Australian Auditing Standards. On the other hand, the fund’s compliance audit must meet with all the super legislation.

Reporting:

Once the financial and compliance audits are concluded, the auditor completes a report. This report is a document given by the ATO for the auditor to fill. The auditor also sends the document to the trustees of the SMSF within 28 days. In case of discrepancies, all the trustees must rectify them immediately and check again with the auditor.

The fund’s trustees are legally obligated to maintain a copy of their audit reports. The SMSAR, tax document must be lodged with the ATO electronically each year to maintain the fund’s compliance status. The auditor document to the ATO. Additionally, if there are outstanding tax obligations, all must be paid in full immediately.

Most Common Crypto Contraventions:

  • The fund has not set up an exchange account in the name of the SMSF
  • Staking or Defi investing has been conducted on a decentralized app that fails to recognize the SMSF as the account holder
  • The fundholders have setup via an Australian exchange and purchased one or two coins, but subsequently transferred the assets to a decentralized app, international exchange, bot application, or a Ponzi scheme
  • The fund has added investment contributions via personal funds to the existing SMSF crypto portfolio. Note* this maybe be classified as a contribution subject to the thresholds.

Conclusion:

All self-managed super funds must comply with the Australian super legislation. The trustees are obligated to appoint an independent registered auditor to conduct a yearly audit of the fund. Failing to do so can result in ATO imposing penalties on the SMSF and its trustees. These penalties can range from banning the fund to paying fines. The seriousness of the non-compliance breach usually determines how severe the penalty may be.
If you need to know how to step into SMSF crypto investing, without taking higher risks than necessary, My SMSF has the knowledge and experience to assist you. Our SMSF setup and annual accounting, auditing services are reasonably priced with good support, that excludes personal advice.

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