Watch out for ATO penalty units


The ATO can impose administrative penalties on individual trustees and the directors of corporate trustees if they contravene certain provisions of the Superannuation Industry (Supervision) Act 1993 (SISA). A list of the SISA provisions and associated penalty units can be found at: How we deal with non-compliance | Australian Taxation Office (

The ATO’s penalty unit is $222. 

If super laws are breached, for example a new director fails to complete a ‘Trustee Declaration’ upon their appointment as a director of a superannuation fund, the ATO can impose an administrative penalty of 10 units per trustee – which can amount to a fine of $2,220.  

So, if you and your spouse are the personal trustees of your fund then you’ll be fined $4,440 between you. Yet another good reason to have a corporate trustee of your fund.

Be sure to take care with your super fund’s compliance to avoid these types of penalties. 

The best way, of course, is to have your documentation prepared through Townsends Lawyers.

For further information, please call Townsends Business & Corporate Lawyers on (02) 8296 6222 or email