According to legal document provider, Topdocs last month, the Australian Tax Office is now 'testing' self managed super fund trustees about their duties and fund knowledge prior to granting them the essential ABN needed to operate.
The Financial Standard reported that the cold calling test has been in place since 2010 and that the ATO contacts SMSF trustees for a number of reasons, including those with newly registered funds that have not yet met their lodgement obligation in the first year.
In situations where one spouse director / trustee passes the test and the other doesn't, the ATO registers the ABN for the fund but will not place the failed director / trustee as a member of the fund in the ATO business portal. This portal is the access point for future fund transactions such as rollovers and the restriction of one fund member to join impacts on the effectiveness of the fund in general.
The lesson is that if you're setting up an SMSF either individually or as part of a team, do your homework.