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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LRBA holding trusts receive the ‘look through’ treatment

November 17, 2015

The Federal Parliament recently passed legislation which affects the tax treatment of limited recourse borrowing arrangements. The Tax and Superannuation Laws Amendment (2015 Measures No. 2) Act 2015 (Cth) (‘Act’) received Royal Asset on 16 September 2015.   We consider relevant aspects of the amendments made to the Income Tax Assessment Act 1997 (Cth) (‘ITAA […]

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SMSFs investing in unit trusts

October 16, 2015

A unit trust is a popular structure to hold property and other investments. Many publicly offered managed investments fund are structured as a unit trust to allow multiple investors to invest in a diversified investment portfolio. Typically, large managed investments funds invest in shares, property and a range of securities. The units in the trust […]

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Amendments to the superannuation guarantee charge

September 29, 2015

In an attempt to simplify the SG regime, and reduce the penalties associated with the SGC, the Government has introduced the draft Superannuation Guarantee Legislation Amendment (Simplification) Bill 2015, which if passed, will apply from 1 July 2016. This article will consider the key amendments proposed, and give some practical examples of the difficulties of […]

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A new Federal Court case on civil penalties

September 28, 2015

A new Federal Court case underscores the continuing relevance of pecuniary penalties under the civil penalties regime to the ATO’s enforcement toolkit. Facts of the case The facts in Deputy Commissioner of Taxation (Superannuation) v Ryan [2015] FCA 1037 (‘Ryan’) involve a husband and wife, Mr Joseph Ryan and Mrs Carolyn Ryan, who were the […]

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QROPS update as another SMSF joins the ROPS list

September 24, 2015

We are pleased to announce that an existing self managed superannuation fund (‘SMSF’) with members over 55 years of age has been added to the recognised overseas pension scheme (‘ROPS’) list. Background Under UK law, an Australian superannuation fund must satisfy the requirements of a qualified recognised overseas pension scheme (‘QROPS’) to be able to […]

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Insurance – Don’t go it alone

September 15, 2015

There is no doubt that the very thought of claiming on your own insurance policy is depressing, but the research proves that you (and even me) may be unable to work for an extended period during your working life due to sickness or an accident. The problem is that nobody has any idea of when […]

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Reclaiming your money from the government

August 24, 2015

We’ve all heard about the “lost billions” sitting in idle superannuation funds around Australia but are you aware of what’s happening to hundreds of millions of dollars sitting in “inactive” bank accounts? Read on, you may be very surprised. The Australian Securities & Investment Commission (ASIC) is now able to collect total balances from Australian’s […]

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SMSFs – Who manages your super when you can’t

August 15, 2015

With a growing trend towards individuals managing their own superannuation through Self-Managed Super Funds (SMSFs), the estate planning aspect of SMSFs is becoming an increasingly important issue. For example, what happens if the trustees or members of the fund are no longer able to fulfil their roles through mental incapacity or sickness? If you are […]

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Aged Care Options – Five steps to consider before entering an aged care home

August 6, 2015

If the need for residential aged care is nearing you or a loved one, following these five steps will help you make a smoother transition. 1. Get your eligibility assessed Before you can enter an aged care facility and receive Government support, your health situation must be assessed by the Aged Care Assessment Team (ACAT). […]

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Interest rates affect everyone differently

August 1, 2015

While interest rates remain at historically low levels in many parts of the world, including Australia, thousands of mortgage holders have enjoyed lower repayments; but interest rate movements mean different things to different people. Aside from mortgages, low interest rates have a much broader application—they also flow through into personal and investment loans, credit cards […]

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Cutting the cost of SMSF Admin!

July 22, 2015

The Latin phrase “Caveat Emptor” or “let the buyer beware” should certainly be used far more often in the SMSF market, particularly for those enticed by cheap administration offers. Unlike managed investments one of the benefits of a SMSF is the lower running costs as fees are generally fixed.   Therefore the administration on a basic […]

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Getting ahead in your 50’s

July 20, 2015

Life in your 50's is great. You don’t have a huge mortgage, the kids have grown up and are not as dependent on you, your career has progressed… So what is next financially? When you are in your 50s, you can see retirement on the horizon. Sure it might be 10-20 years off, but it […]

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Is an SMSF right for you?

July 3, 2015

Self-managed super funds (SMSFs) are the largest and fastest growing super sector in Australia and for many good reasons. But before you start an SMSF, it’s important to weigh up both the advantages and disadvantages and consider seeking advice to determine whether an SMSF is right for you. The advantages SMSFs can offer a number […]

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Maximise your opportunities for the end of financial year

June 17, 2015

June 30 is fast approaching but there’s still time to consider strategies to help you build your wealth and reduce the amount of tax you pay. Pay interest in advance Borrowing to invest may be a tax-effective means of wealth accumulation. This type of strategy lets you purchase property, shares, or any other asset that […]

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No changes to Super caps

June 11, 2015

There will be no changes to the super contributions caps for the 2015/16 year.  Limits will remain the same as last year: Concessional (before tax) contribution cap (age as at 30 June 2015) per person Non-concessional (after tax) contribution cap per person $30,000 per annum (up to age 49) $35,000 per annum (age 49+)  $180,000 per […]

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2015 budget outlook for individuals and families

June 1, 2015

The 2015 Budget made sweeping changes for individual taxpayers and families with its focus on improving the economy. Car expense deductions The Budget has introduced new modernised methods for calculating work-related car expense deductions from the 2015/16 income year. The ‘12 per cent of original value method’ and the ‘one-third of actual expenses method,’ which […]

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End of financial year: SMSFs

May 29, 2015

The compliance requirements for SMSFs are extremely stringent, and it is important for trustees to be acutely aware of their responsibilities. Of course, your accountant is there to help you out, but you should always aim to have a robust understanding of your SMSF’s reporting requirements. Withdrawing minimum pension SMSFs that do not distribute minimum […]

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Capital gains at end of financial year

May 22, 2015

The end of financial year is a good time to think about your capital gains and losses for the year. Timing and planning are everything when it comes to minimising your CGT bill and making the most out of your investment returns. Capital gains tax (CGT) is incurred when a taxpayer disposes of an asset, […]

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Upcoming ATO compliance targets

May 18, 2015

Every year, the ATO announces a number of compliance targets that will be subject to additional scrutiny. It always pays to be aware of these focuses, as non-compliance is, more often than not, the result of an honest mistake as opposed to willful deception. Unfortunately, an honest mistake can still cost you dearly in penalties […]

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SMSF’s at end of financial year

May 12, 2015

The compliance requirements for SMSFs at end of financial year are extremely stringent, and it is important for trustees to be acutely aware of their responsibilities. Of course, your accountant is there to help you out, but you should always aim to have a robust understanding of your SMSF’s reporting requirements. Withdrawing minimum pension SMSFs […]

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