Unlocking Opportunities: SMSF Rulings Reflect Legislative Changes


In a significant move, the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) has recently updated several Self Managed Superannuation Fund (SMSF) rulings to align with legislative amendments. These changes specifically pertain to the increase in the maximum allowable number of SMSF members, expanding from 4 to 6 members effective from July 1, 2021.

Understanding the Amendments

The Treasury Laws Amendment (Self Managed Superannuation Funds) Act 2021 catalyzed these adjustments, prompting the ATO to make minor but impactful changes to key SMSF rulings. Let's delve into the specifics:

  1. SMSFR 2009/1: Business Real Property The ruling clarifies the definition of business real property concerning the Superannuation Industry (Supervision) Act 1993. Understanding these nuances is crucial for SMSF trustees navigating real estate investments within their fund.

  2. SMSFR 2009/3: Unpaid Trust Distributions This ruling addresses the application of the Superannuation Industry (Supervision) Act 1993 to unpaid trust distributions payable to a self-managed superannuation fund. It sheds light on the compliance requirements for trustees in managing trust-related income.

  3. SMSFR 2009/4: In-House Asset Definition Here, the meaning of critical terms like 'asset,' 'loan,' 'investment in,' 'lease,' and 'lease arrangement' in the context of an 'in-house asset' under the Superannuation Industry (Supervision) Act 1993 is clarified. This is pivotal for SMSF trustees aiming to maintain compliance.

  4. SMSFR 2010/1: Subsection 66(1) Application Focused on the application of subsection 66(1) of the Superannuation Industry (Supervision) Act 1993, this ruling outlines considerations related to the acquisition of an asset by an SMSF from a related party. Understanding these provisions is vital for trustees engaging in transactions with related entities.

Source and Date

These updates were officially communicated by the ATO through SMSFR 2009/1, SMSFR 2009/3, SMSFR 2009/4, and SMSFR 2010/1 on November 15, 2023.

Why Do These Changes Matter?

Understanding the implications of these legislative changes is crucial for SMSF trustees, financial advisors, and anyone involved in the management of self-managed superannuation funds. The increase in allowable members expands the potential for collaborative decision-making within an SMSF, providing opportunities for diversified investment strategies and shared responsibilities.


In conclusion, staying abreast of legislative changes is paramount for SMSF trustees. The recent updates by the ATO signify a broader shift in the landscape of self-managed superannuation funds, unlocking new possibilities for those seeking to optimize their retirement savings.

Engaging FAQs

  1. What prompted the increase in the maximum allowable SMSF members? The increase from 4 to 6 members was driven by the Treasury Laws Amendment (Self Managed Superannuation Funds) Act 2021, reflecting the evolving needs and dynamics of SMSFs.

  2. How do these changes impact SMSF investment strategies? With a higher maximum number of members, SMSFs can explore more diversified investment strategies, leveraging collective expertise and contributing to the fund's growth.

  3. Are there any compliance considerations for SMSF trustees? Yes, trustees should carefully review the updated rulings to ensure compliance with the amended regulations, particularly in areas such as real property investments and unpaid trust distributions.

  4. Can these changes affect existing SMSFs with fewer than 6 members? While existing SMSFs aren't required to reach the new maximum limit, they have the option to invite additional members if it aligns with their strategic goals.

  5. Where can I find more information on SMSF regulations and updates? For the latest and most accurate information, it's advisable to refer directly to the ATO website or consult with a qualified financial advisor well-versed in SMSF matters.

  • Should you have any queries, please contact Tax Ideas Accountants & Advisers on
    +61 2 83181545
  • Alternatively, you can book an appointment in our live calendar.

Written by Ideas Group

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