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The new financial year: an investor and SMSF checklist

13th June 2024
The new financial year: an investor and SMSF checklist
Desktop Broker

The turn of a new financial year is a good time for individual investors and self-managed super fund (SMSF) members, with their adviser’s help, to get on the front foot for the opportunities and obligations that lie ahead. Here is a checklist of tasks, reminders and key dates as we move into financial year 2024-25.


1. Be quick: before 30 June 2024

You should check with your adviser first, but you might benefit from opportunities only available before the end of financial year deadline. These include pre-paying investment loan interest and maximising 2023-24 superannuation contribution limits.

If you’re an SMSF trustee or director and your fund is partly or fully in pension phase, it’s important to avoid tax penalties by ensuring that minimum pension payments have been made for 2023-24. This means having all payments cleared from your SMSF bank account before 30 June. 


2. Get financially well organised

For the procrastinators among us, few tasks are less appealing than tidying up piles of paperwork, filing documents properly and clearing out old financial records. Yet having an efficient records and filing system is about more than just having a tidier house. The Australian Tax Office (ATO) requires you to keep financial records for five years after you lodge your tax return. If you’re the trustee or director of an SMSF there are many records—such as minutes of trustee meetings—you must keep for at least 10 years. The ATO contacts over two million Australians every year​1 to query, review or audit their tax returns, so being able to easily locate old documents at short notice can be critical.

Step one is to ruthlessly cull redundant financial paperwork, shred any sensitive documents, and start a simple, logical filing system for the remainder. Key documents can also be scanned and saved as electronic copies, frequently backed up to cloud storage via one of the many free or paid apps. Digital records can then be electronically filed, ideally in a way that mirrors your paper filing system.

The ATO allows records to be kept and submitted in electronic format with any device or app and even has its own record keeping tool, called myDeductions, in the ATO app. It’s also worth asking your financial adviser and accountant how they prefer to receive and send documents, and synch your processes with theirs.


3. Don’t get scammed

Protecting yourself from cyber crime and frauds is a year-round exercise in vigilance and heeding advice from your bank and other financial institutions. Precautions to prevent your data being stolen or finances hacked include regularly upgrading your computer malware protection and frequently changing your passwords, ideally using a random password generator of which there are many available online.


4. You and your adviser

The coming of a new financial year is a good time to check in with your financial adviser, even if only to agree and diarise your next annual review meeting. Now is also a good time to revisit your adviser’s recommendations from your last annual or investment portfolio review and cover off any outstanding items, especially if action is needed before the 2023-24 year-end deadline on 30 June. It’s also important to discuss your lifestyle plans for the year ahead with your adviser, for example if your employment situation may change and affect your life insurance needs.


5. SMSF planning and priorities for 2024-25

Administering an SMSF brings a raft of reporting and compliance obligations, but good organisation and planning, and your adviser’s expert help, can make it less of a high-stress burden. Although the recent federal budget contained no notable new SMSF announcements there are still plenty of important deadlines and compliance activities to plan for.

Below are just some of the things you’ll need to consider as you think about preparing your SMSF for the financial year ahead. They won’t all need immediate action, but it’s worth having them on your radar for the coming months.

Investment strategy and trust deed review

Now is a good time for you and your adviser to review your fund’s performance last year and make sure your portfolio is still aligned with your fund’s objectives, risk tolerance and liquidity needs, rebalancing if necessary. Your SMSF trust deed should also be reviewed at least annually, so it’s worth scheduling this now. Changes in legislation or new types of investment, among other things, may require your trust deed to be updated.

Membership review

Your trust deed may also need amending if you plan to add more family members to your SMSF this year, especially given that SMSFs can now have up to six members. Any newly-appointed trustees or directors must submit a declaration to the ATO within 21 days of their appointment.

If any members will move into pension phase this year and draw an income stream, you may need to start lodging a transfer balance account report with the ATO every quarter. You might also want to review any insurance policies held within your SMSF, particularly if any member’s circumstances will change in the coming year.

Contributions and payments

Early in the financial year you should calculate the minimum pension payments that will apply for any members in pension phase, based on their age on 1 July and their pension balance on the previous 30 June.

Members in accumulation phase should note the new higher superannuation contribution limits applying from 1 July 2024, as well as the increase in employer’s mandatory super guarantee contributions to 11.5%. Members whose super balance was less than $500,000 on 30 June may want to consider making carry-forward concessional contributions in 2024-25.

Record keeping

Keeping accurate and well organised records is critical for SMSF efficiency and legislative compliance. Now is a good time to remind yourself of the ATO’s requirements for record keeping, with documents such as minutes of trustee meetings and investment strategy reviews required to be kept for at least 10 years.


6. Key SMSF dates and reminders

Below are a few of the key dates SMSF members may need to be aware of through the coming financial year. (This is only a general overview and far from a complete schedule of all SMSF trustee or director duties.)

16 SeptemberLatest date you need to appoint an ASIC-registered SMSF auditor if you’re lodging your SMSF annual return (SAR) by 31 October (SMSF auditors must be appointed no later than 45 days before lodgment).
31 OctoberDeadline for lodgment of SARs for newly-registered SMSFs.
1 DecemberIf you’re lodging your SAR on 31 October you must pay your $259 ATO annual supervisory levy by this date. Payments are due in advance, so newly-registered SARs must pay $518 to cover the current financial year and the following one. 
14 JanuaryIf you’re lodging your SAR yourself, this is the latest date to appoint your SMSF auditor under the 45-day rule. If your SMSF has some members in retirement phase and some still in accumulation phase, you’ll also need to submit an actuarial certificate with your annual return.
28 FebruaryLatest date for lodgment of your SAR if you’re doing so yourself.

31 March

Latest date you’ll need to appoint your SMSF auditor if a tax agent is lodging your SAR for you. 
Early/Mid MayRelease of federal budget for 2025-26 (date TBC)
15 MayIf you’re using a tax agent and aren’t a new SMSF, you have until this date to lodge your SAR.
Early JuneIf your SMSF is paying a pension to one or more members you have until the end of the month to make sure you’ve paid the minimum annual pension amounts.
Quarterly SMSFs with members in retirement phase must lodge a super transfer balance account report with the ATO.
Quarterly SMSFs registered for GST must lodge a business activity statement (BAS).
AnnuallyPay annual SMSF levy to the ATO with your SAR lodgment (the $259 levy is paid in advance).

7. Like to know more?

The ATO provides a range of checklists to help SMSF trustees in everything from setting up to winding up an SMSF. But as always, your first point of contact should be your adviser, who’ll support you throughout the year to ensure your SMSF meets its compliance obligations and remains on track to achieve its members’ retirement objectives.


This information is general in nature only and you should consider whether it is appropriate for you. Desktop Broker does not provide tax, legal or accounting advice. This material has been prepared for informational purposes only. For more information, visit or call 1300 786 199. Desktop Broker is the trading name of Third Party Platform Pty Ltd ABN 74 121 227 905, AFSL 314341.


1 Everything you need to know about ATO audit, Clear Tax Accountants, 23 December 2023