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  • Writer's pictureReuben Bergola

Understanding SMSF Pricing: A Comprehensive Guide by an Accountant and Financial Planner

Setting up a Self-Managed Superannuation Fund (SMSF) can be a viable option for individuals seeking greater control and flexibility over their retirement savings. However, it's important to understand the various costs associated with establishing and managing an SMSF. In this blog post, we will delve into the intricacies of SMSF pricing, covering the initial setup costs, ongoing expenses, and ad hoc fees. Additionally, we will explore SMSF tax pricing, including the costs associated with tax preparation, to help you make informed decisions about your SMSF.

SMSF Setup: Initial Costs

When it comes to setting up an SMSF, there are certain expenses you should consider. One of the primary costs is the establishment fee, which typically covers the legal documentation required to establish the fund. This fee can vary depending on the service provider and the complexity of your SMSF's structure.

Additionally, you may need to engage a professional such as an accountant or financial planner to assist with the setup process. Their fees can also vary, so it's crucial to obtain quotes and compare their services before making a decision. Other initial costs may include trust deed drafting and execution, registration with the Australian Taxation Office (ATO), and the creation of a corporate trustee if desired.

SMSF Costs: Ongoing Expenses

Once your SMSF is up and running, there are ongoing costs to consider. The most significant recurring expense is likely to be the annual audit fee. The ATO requires all SMSFs to undergo an independent audit each year to ensure compliance with regulations. The audit fee can vary depending on the complexity of your fund and the auditor you engage.

Another key ongoing expense is the accounting and administration fee. This covers the day-to-day management of your SMSF, including preparing financial statements, lodging tax returns, and meeting regulatory obligations. The fee may vary depending on the complexity of your SMSF's investments and the services provided by your accountant or administration service.

Furthermore, investment-related costs should be taken into account. These include brokerage fees, investment platform fees, and any costs associated with managed funds or other investments held within the SMSF. These expenses can vary significantly depending on your investment strategy and the type of assets you hold.

Ad Hoc Costs: Additional Considerations

In addition to the setup and ongoing costs, there may be ad hoc expenses associated with your SMSF. For instance, if you decide to seek professional advice on investment strategies or tax planning, you should be prepared for consultation fees.

Another potential cost is the amendment fee. If you need to make changes to your SMSF's trust deed or other legal documents, there may be a fee involved. Similarly, if you decide to wind up your SMSF, there could be costs associated with the closure process.

SMSF Tax Pricing: Tax Preparation Costs

Tax compliance is a crucial aspect of managing an SMSF. The tax preparation costs can vary depending on the complexity of your SMSF's investments and transactions. Engaging an experienced accountant who specializes in SMSF taxation can help ensure accurate and timely preparation of tax returns.

The tax preparation fee generally covers the preparation and lodgment of the annual SMSF tax return, including reporting income, deductions, capital gains, and franking credits. It's essential to discuss the scope of services and the fee structure with your accountant to avoid any surprises.


Establishing and managing an SMSF involves various costs that need to be considered. From the initial setup expenses to ongoing administrative fees and tax preparation costs, it is crucial to have a comprehensive understanding of

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