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Trustee obligations of a disqualified person

There are ramifications when a trustee in a self managed super fund (SMSF) becomes a disqualified person.

An individual can become a disqualified person if any of the following conditions apply. If they:

-have been convicted of an offence involving dishonesty

-have been subject to a civil penalty order under the super laws

-are insolvent under administration

-have been disqualified by a court or regulator

A company is a disqualified person if any of the following conditions apply:

-a responsible officer of the company (such as a director, secretary, or executive officer) is a disqualified person

-a receiver, official manager, or provisional liquidator has been appointed to the company

-action has been taken to wind up the company

Under superannuation laws, if an individual becomes a disqualified person they must notify the ATO immediately of their disqualification- unless they were disqualified by the ATO- and cease being, or acting as, a trustee.

It is an offence for a disqualified person, who is aware of their status of being disqualified, to continue to be, and act, as a trustee of the SMSF.  Penalties for this can include fines and in some cases, imprisonment.

To determine whether a disqualified person can again become an individual trustee of a SMSF depends on how they were made disqualified:

Convicted of an offence involving dishonesty

An individual may apply for a declaration waiving their disqualified status within 14 days of the date of their conviction, and only if the penalty or prison term is less than stated in the legislation

Insolvent under administration

Once the individual is no longer insolvent under administration they are no longer a disqualified person

Disqualified by a court or regulator

Legislation sets out the circumstances in which an individual can request their disqualification to be revoked.

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