Tax Planning & Superannuation

It’s tax planning time for our clients which presents an ideal opportunity to review Self-managed Superannuation Funds (SMSF) compliance obligations.

Whilst SMSF Trustees can use professionals such as Financial Planners, investment advisers, Tax Agents and Accountants to do certain tasks on their behalf, they cannot delegate all of their responsibilities; and all Trustees of the fund are equally responsible regardless of how actively involved in the day to day running of the Fund they are.

At Jeffrey Todd & Associates Financial Planning, we believe in empowering our clients through education. As Financial Planners, we are proactive in ensuring both prospective and existing SMSF Trustees fully understand their obligations.

The ATO takes non-compliance with super laws seriously; and may direct an SMSF Trustee to undertake an approved education course, or take a range of stronger action if they have contravened the law, including loss of tax concessions, civil and criminal penalties and freezing the Funds assets.

Trustees are able to access the courses even if they haven’t been directed by the tax office to undertake, and at Jeffrey Todd we encourage people to do so. ATO approved courses are free online and may be accessed at: https://www.ato.gov.au/Super/Self-managed-super-funds/Administering-and-reporting/How-we-help-and-regulate-SMSFs/Approved-education-courses/. You’ll get a certificate at the end of the course which should be stored with your Fund records.

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We are meeting with clients now through mid-June with our focus on tax planning and compliance. It’s timely for a review and to take any corrective action before 30th June; to ensure that Fund members do not exceed relevant contribution caps, top up contributions as appropriate, and pay minimum pensions before EOFY.

Fund Trustees should arrange any asset valuations that may be needed, engage with the Fund Accountant and appoint an Auditor. Whilst this is not an exhaustive list, Trustees should also consider annually the Funds risks and succession, investment strategy, insurance for members, whether the Fund remains appropriate for members and exit strategy, currency of Trust Deeds and death benefit nominations. There is a lot to be done. Please let us know if you need any assistance whatsoever.

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Borrowing has become more difficult and complicated recently particularly in the SMSF space. Banking regulators are working to contract the lending market, and we are seeing the impact through retail lending practices and policy changes. Additionally, the ATO has separately released guidance on Limited Recourse Borrowing Arrangements (LRBA), which has further sought to restrict lending to SMSF’s.

The ATO release PCG2016/5 sets out the ATO’s compliance approach for LRBA’s established before 30 June 2016. We are currently reviewing clients that may be affected by the guidelines and devising strategies to assist clients to resolve any inconsistencies before the 30th June 2016 deadline. Please contact your financial planner if you wish to discuss.

 

 

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