Despite frequent changes to its governing rules, superannuation remains, for most people, a tax-effective environment in which to save for retirement. Here’s a quick Q&A on the what, why and how of contributing to superannuation from this point on. Why should I contribute to super? Some super contributions and the investment earnings within super funds […]

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New APRA guidance confirms retirement for members who reach 60 and cease one of two jobs Introduction The Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (‘APRA’) has just updated its Superannuation Prudential Practice Guide SPG 280 — Payment Standards (‘SPG’) in June 2017. Of interest in the SPG are APRA’s comments on the retirement definition in the Superannuation […]

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Demystifying the tax treatment of death benefits paid to the estate

August 25, 2017

The tax treatment of death benefits paid from an SMSF to a deceased member’s estate can be complex. Tax law contains a ‘look through’ provision in respect of death benefits paid to an estate (ie, to a legal personal representative being the executor of a will or the administrator in the case of intestacy). This […]

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Time to rethink your super strategy?

July 5, 2017

Imagine you were starting your career all over again. You have your whole working life in front of you. How would you set up your financial affairs? The superannuation system is by far the most attractive tax structure for long-term wealth creation. When you are building up your superannuation, you can salary sacrifice and pay […]

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Superannuation and new cars are very similar!

June 27, 2017

Superannuation can be one of the most baffling topics when it comes to managing our finances so let’s relate looking for the right fund to something that might be more enjoyable – buying a new car. What do you look for? Size and speed The engine of growth in super is the investments you choose. […]

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Finalists in the Australian Accounting Awards 2017

April 12, 2017

Newcastle based Leenane Templeton Chartered Accountants & Business Advisors has been shortlisted for the prestigious Australian Accounting Awards, partnered by Thomson Reuters. Andrew Frith of Leenane Templeton is in the running to take out one of Australia’s top industry awards. Leenane Templeton has been shortlisted as a finalist to win two awards in the categories […]

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The role of dividends

April 4, 2017

A very good short article that reminds share market investors of the role dividends play. This can provide comfort to our readers when share markets are particularly volatile. When we invest in the share market we like to see our shares increase in value – obviously – but when the market isn’t performing well instead […]

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Are you short-changing your employees on super?

March 24, 2017

A new report has revealed around 2.4 million or almost one third of Australian workers are missing out on some or all of their super entitlements and little is being done about it. Under the Superannuation Guarantee (SG), employers must contribute 9.5 per cent into the super account of every worker over the age of […]

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Life can change in an instant

November 29, 2016

Paul Taylor was a fit and active 45-year old who drowned while swimming in surf on a family holiday. Witnessing this tragic event unfold from the beach were Paul’s wife, Sue, their 15-year-old daughter Sophie and 12-year-old son Zac. Relatives and friends were a great support during the following days, but soon after the funeral, […]

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Super in your 50s. It’s time to push the pedal down!

November 25, 2016

  If 50 really is the new 40, then life has just begun. The kids are gaining independence or may have left home, and the mortgage could be a thing of the past. Bliss. But galloping towards you is… retirement!. How are you tracking? According to the Association of Superannuation Funds of Australia (ASFA), a […]

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Super in your 30s. It’s important to squeeze it in.

November 21, 2016

If you are in your thirties, chances are life revolves around children and a mortgage. As much as we love our kids, the fact is they cost quite a lot. As for the mortgage, this is the age during which repayments are generally at their highest, relative to income. And on top of that, one […]

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Super in your 40s. It’s time to get focused.

November 18, 2016

Typically your forties is a time of established careers, teenage kids and a mortgage that is no longer daunting. There are still plenty of demands on the budget, but by this age there’s a good chance there’s some spare cash that can be put to good use. As you pass the halfway mark of your […]

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Why does the balance of my super fund go up and down?

November 14, 2016

If you pay close attention to the value of your superannuation fund, and if, like most people, your money is spread across the main investment classes, you would have noticed that your retirement savings can both rise – and fall – in value. This can lead to some nervous times, particularly if you are close […]

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The new NCC rules and the new AFSL regime: a delicate balancing act

November 12, 2016

The Government recently released for public consultation the third round of exposure draft legislation and explanatory material to lower the annual non-concessional contributions (‘NCCs’) cap to $100,000 and restrict eligibility to make NCCs to individuals with superannuation balances below $1.6 million from 1 July 2017. While this legislation is in exposure draft form only (and […]

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ATO’s revised view on LRBAs and the NALI risk

November 11, 2016

Overview of TD 2016/16 The Australian Taxation Office (‘ATO’) released Taxation Determination TD 2016/16 — Income tax: will the ordinary or statutory income of a self-managed superannuation fund be non-arm's length income under subsection 295-550(1) of the Income Tax Assessment Act 1997 (ITAA 1997) when the parties to a scheme have entered into a limited recourse borrowing […]

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Automatically reversionary pensions and super reform

September 16, 2016

This article examines in detail whether automatically reversionary pensions are still an appropriate SMSF succession planning strategy in view of recent super reforms especially the $1.6m balance cap proposal that is supposed to commence from 1 July 2017. It also briefly discusses the difficulty and risks of legal action and damages that people face when […]

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$500K lifetime contribution cap — urgent fix needed!

September 13, 2016

One of the most disturbing aspects of the $500k lifetime non-concessional contribution (NCC) cap announced in the 3 May 2016 Federal Budget is that it catches prior NCCs made since 1 July 2007. The Government denies this proposal is retrospective. We outline below a range of reasons why the governemnt should remove the retrospective application […]

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Proposed superannuation reforms – July 2016

July 1, 2016

We are about to enter a period of substantial reform. We have therefore prepared a brief ‘stock take’ of what the reform proposals look like as at the start of July 2016. In particular, we consider the proposals announced in the 3 May 2016 Federal Budget by the Liberal Government. We also briefly compare these […]

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Death benefit dependant: Can an interdependency relationship exist between deceased child and parent?

June 22, 2016

This article looks at whether a parent and deceased child can be in an interdependency relationship for the purpose of satisfying the definition of death benefit dependant in the Income Tax Assessment Act 1997 (Cth) ('ITAA97'). This article follows the AAT decision in TBCL and Commissioner of Taxation (Taxation) [2016] AATA 264 ('TBCL').   The […]

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The advantages of conditional membership in an SMSF

May 4, 2016

There can be compelling reasons why one might want to share a self managed superannuation fund (SMSF) with others. However sharing an SMSF with a spouse (especially a second or subsequent spouse), children, siblings, in-laws, friends or business associates can involve a risk that at some stage there may be a breakdown in the relationship. […]

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ATO releases safe harbours for non-bank SMSF limited recourse borrowing arrangements

April 8, 2016

The ATO have released important information detailing interest rates, loan-to-value ratios (‘LVRs’) and other terms that constitute safe harbours for SMSF limited recourse borrowing arrangements (‘LRBAs’) so that arrangements will be taken to be consistent with an arm’s length dealing. The ATO is officially calling their release a ‘Practical Compliance Guideline’. Broadly speaking, LRBAs consistent […]

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Traps for SMSF members who keep money in a big fund for insurance

March 22, 2016

A desire for some people who exit large funds and start a new SMSF is to leave a portion of their superannuation in the large fund. This is often because it can be relatively simple to retain life, total and permanent disability (‘TPD’) and income protection insurance cover in a large fund. While the above […]

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Reconsidering Incorporated Contractors

February 6, 2016

Determining whether payments to a contractor are covered by the superannuation guarantee (‘SG’) regime can be a vexed and difficult exercise. Of particular interest is whether an incorporated contractor is automatically outside the scope of the SG regime, such that SG contributions are not required to be made on their behalf to avoid a shortfall […]

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ATO to act soon on related party LRBAs

January 17, 2016

Through ATO ID 2015/27 and ATO ID 2015/28 the ATO seem to have cemented their position in relation to the application of s 295-550 of the Income Tax Assessment Act 1997 (Cth) to related party limited recourse borrowing arrangements (‘LRBAs’). Importantly, the ATO has since confirmed that their approach to this issue in future private […]

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Collectables and personal use assets in an SMSF

November 30, 2015

All newly acquired investments by SMSF trustees in collectables and personal use assets since 1 July 2011 have been subject to strict rules under reg 13.18AA of the Superannuation Industry (Supervision) Regulations 1994 (Cth) (‘SISR’). However, SMSF trustees should be aware that the grandfathering relief in relation to such investments that were held prior to […]

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