Super and Financial Planning

  • Insurance Policy ActionThis year’s Productivity Commission inquiry into superannuation highlighted concerns that many Australians’ super benefits are being eroded by fees and inappropriate insurance premiums.

  • 099FederalBudget2018SpecialEditionOn Tuesday, 8 May 2018, Treasurer Scott Morrison handed down the 2018–2019 Federal Budget, his third. In what is widely perceived to be an election Budget (and certainly the last full Budget before the next Federal election), the Treasurer forecast a return to a modest deficit of $2.2 billion in 2019–2020 and an increase to surplus in 2020–2021. In the lead-up, the Treasurer signalled the need to “exercise the restraint that has been so important in ensuring that we bring that Budget back to balance”.

  • BUDGET 2019

    PERSONAL TAXATION

    Personal tax cuts: low–mid tax offset increase now; more rate changes from 2022

    In the 2019–2020 Federal Budget, the Coalition Government announced its intention to provide further reductions in tax through the non-refundable low and middle income tax offset (LMITO).

  • 073AreYouCaughtOutByTheAgePensionAssetsTestThe stricter Age Pension assets test came into force more than a year ago, but it is probably only now that the impact of this change is being felt, especially by middle-income wage earners. This could put you in a situation where if your assets are at a certain level, you won’t qualify for the Age Pension.

  • 079AreYouSignedUpToTheNewSmallBusinessSuperClearingHouseThe small business superannuation clearing house (SBSCH) is a convenient service that allows a small business to make superannuation contributions for its employees in one single payment. It’s important to know that access to the service has recently changed significantly.

  • 112AreasOfConcernForSMSFTrusteesIf you are the trustee of one of the approximately 577,000 SMSFs in Australia at the moment, there are some areas the ATO wants you to pay particular attention to including the sole-purpose test, the in-house asset rules, unlawful schemes and arrangements, and dividend-stripping

  • ASIC enforcement action on SMSF auditors

    ASIC enforcement action on SMSF auditorsASIC has released information on its enforcement action against over 100 SMSF auditors (some referred to it by the ATO for various breaches including not meeting independence requirements, not complying with auditing standards, not reporting non-compliance, and not meeting the fit and proper person requirement).

  • ASIC recommends SMSF reforms

    ASIC recommends SMSF reformsAs a part of hearings into ASIC’s oversight functions, the regulator presented the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Corporations and Financial Services with a range of policy solutions to be considered to remedy deficiencies identified in the SMSF space from its recent reports.

  • ATO Business BenchmarksThe ATO’s business benchmark data is a useful tool for smart business owners. Learn how you can access these benchmarks to judge your business’ performance against industry standards

  • ATO’s use of real-time data for SG compliance

    ATO’s use of real-time data for SG complianceThe ATO is currently undertaking a project to move towards real-time data or event-based reporting to enhance super guarantee entitlements compliance. This is an area the ATO is actively involved in having already raised around $22.8m in liabilities

  • Bad trustee behaviour can lead to disqualificationA tribunal decision upholding the ATO’s call to disqualify an SMSF trustee from acting as a trustee again is a reminder of the importance of SMSF trustee responsibilities.

  • 055BeAlertToShamSelfManagedSuperSchemesHave you been advised to transfer your super to a self-managed super fund (SMSF)? Perhaps you have been told that you could withdraw your superannuation early, to pay off debt? Either could be a warning sign of an illegitimate scheme through which you could be in line for a fine, face a jail term and risk your entire super.

  • 096BewareOfTheSMSFDeathTrapDeath of a family member is often a difficult time, but if the deceased was a member of SMSF, complications from trustee arrangements and payment of the death benefit can make a difficult time even worse for the family members. A recent dispute that reached all the way to the Victorian Supreme Court serves as another reminder that a deceased person’s will does not override the discretionary power of a SMSF trustee to determine the payment of a death benefit.

  • 157BorrowingMoneyinSMSFs 720x454Limited recourse borrowing arrangements (LRBAs) allow an SMSF to borrow money for the purchase of a single asset (or a collection of identical assets that have the same market value) to be held in a separate trust. Investment returns from the asset go to the SMSF and if the loan defaults, the lender’s rights are limited to the assets held in the separate trust.

  • 101Budget2018WhatsInItForYouIt’s May, which means it’s Budget time. In the last full Budget before the next Federal election, the Treasurer delivered an election Budget with enough sweeteners for everyone including businesses, income tax relief for individuals, measures to boost superannuation, and help for older Australians.

    The 2018-19 Budget was handed down on 8 May by Treasurer Scott Morrison. In the last full Budget before the next Federal election, ScoMo delivered what was widely perceived to be an election Budget with lots of sweeteners for everyone. So what’s in it for you?

  • BudgetOver60sSuperBenefitsIf you’re in your 60s, this year’s federal Budget brings some good news: the Coalition is relaxing some of the contributions rules for your age group, giving you more time and opportunities to put away funds for retirement.

  • CGT on Inherited DwellingThere’s nothing as certain as death and taxes, but tax on death is not so clear. The good news is that when an asset passes to a beneficiary, capital gains tax (CGT) generally does not apply. But down the track when the beneficiary decides to sell that asset, there are many forks in the path.

  • Catching up on superannuation contributionsThe government’s new measure to allow those with less than $500,000 in superannuation to “catch up” on missed superannuation contributions is a great opportunity for anyone who takes time out of work or otherwise has “lumpy” income that means they have a varying capacity to make contributions from year to year.

  • Superannuation Fund Extra MembersDid you know that SMSFs may soon be able to have up to six members? A large member group in an SMSF creates a number of important planning issues that need to be carefully managed

  • Dealing with an excess super contributions determination

    Dealing with an excess super contributions determinationThe ATO has begun issuing determinations to individuals who exceeded their concessional super contributions cap for the 2017-18 financial year. These determinations will also trigger amended income tax assessments and additional tax liabilities.

  • 154SMSFSolePurposeTest 720x454The sole purpose test is one the fundamental requirements for SMSFs to obtain tax concessions. It requires that the SMSF be maintained for the sole purpose of providing retirement benefits to its members or their dependents if a member dies before retirement.

  • 115DownsizeToBoostSuperannuationFrom 1 July 2018, people aged 65 or over will be able to make additional non-concessional contributions of up to $300,000 from downsizing their home subject to certain conditions. This is in addition to the concessional and non-concessional contribution caps.

  • Downsizer superannuation contributionsThe government’s new opportunity for “downsizing” Australians to contribute some of the sale proceeds from their home into superannuation may appear to be a very attractive strategy for many individuals who wish to use equity in their home to boost their retirement savings.

  • First Home Super SchemeSaving for your first home? In a market where owning your home is increasingly out of reach for many, the First Home Super Saver (FHSS) scheme offers some practical hope. Here we look at how it works.

  • Extra 44,000 taxpayers hit with Div 293 super taxAn extra 44,000 taxpayers have been hit with an additional 15% Division 293 tax on their superannuation contributions for 2017-18. The ATO has issued these Div 293 tax assessments to a further 90,000 taxpayers after an initial run in late 2018.

  • BUDGET Spolight 2019It may be the first ever April Budget, the first Budget for rookie treasurer Josh Frydenberg and the first surplus delivered by a Federal Government since Rudd’s reign in 2008

  • 069FinancialAdviceFromYourAccountantAre you in the market for some general financial advice about superannuation or simple managed investment schemes? Well, you don’t necessarily have to see a financial adviser. Depending on the circumstances, your accountant could help you with what you need in addition to taking care of your tax queries.

  • 065FirstHomeSuperSaverSchemeUpdateBuildingOnTheFoundationsWe start the new year with headlines of “falling house prices”, but even if prices are set to come down and you keep a close eye on your finances, saving a deposit to buy your first home can be difficult. The First Home Super Saver Scheme (FHSSS) – now passed by Parliament – means that you can use superannuation to build your home deposit, and not only if you are buying a first home.

  • 088SuperGuaranteedAccording to the latest ASFA Retirement Standard, Australian singles will need $545,000 and couples around $640,000 to retire comfortably. For many people, the gap between what they have now and what they will need to retire can seem insurmountable, especially in the face of stagnant wage growth and ever-increasing house prices.

  • Financial Services ComplaintsDo you need help resolving a problem with a bank, credit provider or superannuation fund? The new Australian Financial Complaints Authority (AFCA) provides a free and easy-to-access service for consumers and small businesses to make a financial services complaint

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