As the new year approaches, trustees, accountants, and financial advisors are bracing themselves for the potential changes that will occur in the self-managed super fund (SMSF) landscape. One particularly significant area of focus is the non-arms length expense (NALE) rules for super funds.

The Australian Treasury has proposed new updates to the NALE rules, which are aimed at ensuring the fairness and integrity of SMSFs. These changes, if implemented, could have a profound impact on how trustees and professionals manage their SMSFs going forward.

To gain a comprehensive understanding of the proposed changes and their potential implications, it is crucial to delve into the details and explore the various aspects involved.

NALE changes of 2023

Table of Contents

  1. What are the Proposed Changes?
  2. Potential Implications of the Proposed Changes
  3. Contact Us
  4. Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What are the Proposed Changes?

The proposed changes to the NALE rules for super funds were released by the Australian Treasury in a discussion paper titled “Improving the integrity of Non-Arm’s Length Arrangements (NALI) provisions” in September 2023.

The key objective of these changes is to address concerns around non-arm’s length income (NALI) and ensure that contributions and expenses within an SMSF are transacted on an arm’s length basis. The proposed changes include the following:

  1. Expanding the Definition of NALI: The Treasury’s proposal seeks to broaden the definition of NALI. Currently, NALI only applies to income generated from non-arm’s length schemes. However, the proposed changes aim to extend this definition to include any expenses incurred under a non-arm’s length arrangement.

  2. Anti-Avoidance Measures: To prevent individuals from circumventing the NALE rules, the Treasury is considering introducing anti-avoidance measures. These measures would deter SMSF trustees from engaging in arrangements that intentionally exploit the loopholes in the current legislation.

  3. Annual Reporting Obligations: In an effort to enhance transparency and improve compliance, the proposed changes may require SMSFs to report more comprehensive information about their non-arm’s length transactions. This will enable the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) to have better visibility into the activities of SMSFs and identify potential instances of non-compliance.

  4. Greater Regulatory Powers: The Treasury is also exploring the possibility of granting increased regulatory powers to the ATO. This would empower the ATO to take swifter and more effective action against SMSFs that are found to be non-compliant with the NALE rules.

Potential Implications of the Proposed Changes

While the proposed changes to the NALE rules are aimed at maintaining the integrity of SMSFs, they have the potential to significantly impact trustees, accountants, and financial advisors. Here are some potential implications to consider:

  1. Increased Compliance Burden: If the proposed changes are implemented, SMSF trustees will likely face additional reporting obligations and compliance requirements. This could lead to increased administrative burdens and the need for more thorough record-keeping processes to ensure compliance with the updated rules.

  2. Heightened Regulatory Scrutiny: With the potential increase in regulatory powers granted to the ATO, SMSFs can expect greater scrutiny. The ATO may conduct more extensive audits and investigations to identify instances of non-compliance with the NALE rules. It will be crucial for trustees and professionals to maintain accurate and transparent documentation to support their SMSF transactions.

  3. Reconsideration of Investment Strategies: The expanded definition of NALI could impact the investment strategies of SMSFs. Trustees will need to carefully assess the potential impact on their SMSF investments and consider restructuring any arrangements that may fall under the new NALE rules.

  4. Seeking Professional Advice: Given the complexities of the proposed changes, trustees and professionals may need to seek expert advice.


The proposed changes to the non-arms length expense (NALE) rules for super funds in 2023 have the potential to reshape the landscape of SMSFs. The Australian Treasury’s efforts to ensure fairness and integrity within the SMSF sector are commendable, but these changes will undoubtedly bring about significant implications for trustees, accountants, and financial advisors.

With the potential expansion of the definition of NALI, the introduction of anti-avoidance measures, increased reporting obligations, and greater regulatory powers, SMSF trustees must prepare for a more stringent compliance environment. It is paramount for trustees and professionals to stay abreast of the proposed changes, seek expert advice, reassess investment strategies, and maintain accurate documentation to navigate these reforms successfully.

While the exact timeline and implementation of these changes remain uncertain, proactive engagement and awareness will be essential in adapting to the evolving SMSF landscape. SMSF trustees and professionals must embrace these changes as an opportunity to strengthen their practices and uphold the integrity of the self-managed super fund sector.

As the industry continues to evolve, staying informed and proactive will be key to ensuring the long-term success and compliance of SMSFs. By embracing these changes and working together, trustees, accountants, and financial advisors can navigate the NALE changes

Contact Us

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At MintSuper, we understand the importance of staying informed and compliant in the ever-changing world of self-managed super funds (SMSFs). If you have any questions, concerns, or would like to discuss how the proposed changes to the non-arms length expense (NALE) rules may impact your SMSF, we are here to help.

Our team of expert SMSF auditors is dedicated to providing top-tier services to trustees, accountants, and financial advisors. We have a deep understanding of the regulatory landscape and can guide you through the complexities of the proposed NALE changes.

Whether you need assistance with SMSF audits, compliance, or general SMSF inquiries, we are just a phone call or email away. Reach out to us today and let us help you navigate the upcoming changes to ensure the continued success of your SMSF.

Don’t hesitate to contact us. We are here to support you on your SMSF journey.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Here are some commonly asked questions about the proposed changes to the non-arms length expense (NALE) rules for super funds:

Mint Super FAQ Section

Q: What are the NALE rules?

A: The NALE rules refer to the regulations that govern how self-managed super funds (SMSFs) should transact on an arms-length basis. These rules aim to ensure fairness and integrity within the SMSF sector by preventing trustees from engaging in non-arm’s length income arrangements.

Q: What are the proposed changes to the NALE rules?

A: The proposed changes include expanding the definition of non-arm’s length income (NALI) to also include expenses incurred under non-arm’s length arrangements, introducing anti-avoidance measures, imposing annual reporting obligations, and granting increased regulatory powers to the Australian Taxation Office (ATO).

Q: When will the proposed changes come into effect?

A: The exact timeline for the implementation of these changes is yet to be determined. It is essential to stay informed through reliable sources and keep an eye on official announcements to stay up-to-date with any developments.

Q: How will the proposed changes affect SMSF trustees?

A: The proposed changes will likely increase compliance requirements, reporting obligations, and regulatory scrutiny.