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 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).

  • 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.

  • Super Guarantee AmnestyAn amnesty is now on for employers in relation to unpaid employee super entitlements from 1 July 1992 to 1 January 2018. There are certain conditions which have to be met for employers to qualify.

  • 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.

  • 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 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 business benchmarks are a handy business check-up tool for business owners.

  • Mistakes SMSF ReturnsWhile the due date for SMSF annual returns depends on the particular fund, if you had an SMSF at 30 June 2019 or has wound up an SMSF during the last financial year, you will need to lodge a return.

  • 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 (including $3m in penalties) in the current financial year.

  • The Coronavirus has presented a fast evolving and significant challenge to global health systems and economies.

    The Government has acted decisively in the national interest to support households and businesses and address the significant economic consequences of the Coronavirus.

    The Government’s economic support package of $259 billion represents fiscal and balance sheet support across the forward estimates of 13.3 per cent of annual GDP. Direct fiscal measures are equivalent to around 6.9 per cent of GDP.

    The Government’s economic support package has provided timely support to affected workers, businesses and the broader community, and has kept Australians in work, and businesses in business.

    These actions have put a floor under the economy during this extraordinary time, and have set the foundation for a strong economic recovery once the Coronavirus crisis passes.

    Note: Each link will have a blue HP on the left hand side of the title, by clicking on this 'link' you will be taken to the article. When you are in the article you may find 'fact sheets' that provides additional details about the chosen topic, when you open a 'fact sheet' it can be downloaded (to your device) as a PDF file by clicking on the black downward facing arrow on the top right hand corner of the page.  

  • Aware of the impending insurance changes in superannuation?You may have heard a lot recently about super funds providing either opt-in or opt-out insurance and have wondered how will affect you and your retirement savings.

  • 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.

  • Been affected by Coronavirus? Require an early super releaseIf you’ve been affected by the Coronavirus pandemic and want to access your super early, it may be beneficial to consult a qualified professional about the eligibility and other options that may be available to you.

  • Better protection for consumers under new ASIC powersIn response to the recommendations of the Banking and Financial services Royal Commission and the ASIC Enforcement Review Taskforce Report, the government has proposed new enforcement and supervision powers for ASIC to restore consumer confidence in the financial system, particularly in relation to financial advice.

  • 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.

  • Making Binding NominationYour superannuation balance is probably one of your biggest assets – perhaps up there with the family home. It’s therefore vital to plan for how that money will be distributed on your death.

  • 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.

  • Consolidating superannuation involves taking risks By some estimates there are around $20.8bn in lost and unclaimed super in Australia. The last financial year saw $4.38bn worth of lost super reunited with their owners across 537,000 accounts.

  • WFH DeductionsThe economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic seems to get more and more serious with every passing day. With everyone more or less practicing social distancing if not outright self-quarantining, many businesses and casual workers are struggling in the current economic environment.

  • 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.

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