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Advantages of an SMSF

Posted on August 25, 2014 by admin


For most Australians, superannuation is one of their most important assets, usually only coming second to the family home. Superannuation is a great way to plan for your retirement, offering you a lot of tax breaks and ensuring that you are putting money aside for the future you want. However, it can be unsettling when you do not know exactly where and how this crucial asset is being invested. It is natural to want to have more control over your super, and to understand exactly where your money is invested. Unfortunately, many industry, retail and corporate funds can be very vague in letting you know where your money is, for example simply saying ‘Australian shares’. Additionally, the choice of risk categories offered to members are often not specific enough to fully reflect your individual investment needs. Starting an SMSF is not just about choice, but also control. You can create a more sophisticated investment strategy that is perfectly aligned with your risk appetite, ensuring that your money is doing precisely what you want it to do. Recently, it has become possible for SMSFs to borrow money in order to purchase property. This means that when members reach pension age, they […]


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ATO releases ruling on bitcoin

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The ATO has issued its decision on the treatment of bitcoin, and other crypto-currencies, for tax purposes. Bitcoin is a form of virtual digital currency that has been gaining popularity worldwide. Based on the  average number of daily transactions, bitcoin has overtaken western transfer and is fast approaching PayPal as the world’s most popular form of online transaction. Bitcoin is unregulated and operates outside of the global financial system. The ATO has ruled that making purchases with bitcoin essentially amounts to bartering, and as such the virtual currency will be treated as an asset, rather than as money, for tax purposes. In the eyes of the ATO, bitcoin will be treated similarly to shares. There is no need for individuals to declare bitcoin to the ATO until they dispose of it, in which case it may be be subject to capital gains tax. Individuals may also use bitcoin to purchase up to $10 000 worth of personal items, and it will be considered as personal assets use. If an employee receives bitcoin as part of their remuneration package then this may be subject to fringe benefits tax. Bitcoin enthusiasts across the country have expressed disappointment in the decision, claiming that […]


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Finding your lost super

Posted on August 18, 2014 by admin


Many Australians have superannuation that they have lost track of over the years. The ATO estimates that the total amount of lost super in Australia adds up to billions of dollars. If you have ever changed your name or address it is possible that you have chunks of super that you’ve completely forgotten about. The same is true for super accumulated in a part-time or casual job, particularly if it was a long time ago. If you think that you might have some lost super, you should track it down as soon as possible. By splitting your super between funds, you are most likely paying unnecessarily high fees. Finding your lost super is easy with the ATO’s online SuperSeeker tool. You can also use the ATO app to do a quick search to determine whether or not you do have lost super. To do this, you will need to provide your name, date of birth and tax file number (TFN).


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New law enacted to prevent dividend washing

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A new law that prevents taxpayers from benefiting from dividend washing has been enacted. The new integrity rule is intended to help taxpayers understand their tax responsibilities and comply with the legislation. Dividend washing occurs when a shareholder seeks to claim two set of franking credits. This is done by selling shares after a dividend payout has been announced ex-dividend, meaning that both the dividend and the franking credit remain with the investor. The investor then repurchases shares in the same company that have both the dividend and the franking credit attached. Thus, they have come to be in possession of two sets of franking credits for one set of shares. Investors who have entered into dividend washing in the past few years should have received written correspondence from the ATO requesting that they amend their tax returns for the relevant income years. If amendment requests are received by the ATO before the date specified in the letter no penalties will be applied. Individuals who have engaged in dividend washing but have not received correspondence from the ATO will be offered the same penalty remission if amendments are made by 22September 2014.


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Protect yourself from early super release scams

August 7, 2018

When it comes to protecting your nest egg, avoid getting caught out by a promoter of an illegal early release super scheme.

Early release super scheme scams will involve a promoter contacting you and offering to help you access your super early. They usually target individuals under significant financial pressure or those who are not knowledgeable about super laws and the repercussions and penalties involved in illegally accessing your super.

You can only access your super when you meet a condition of release.

Generally, when you:
– Are 65 years old (even if you have not yet retired).
– Reach your preservation age and retire.
– Reach your preservation age and begin a transition to retirement income stream while still working.

There are special circumstances where you may be able to access your super early.

These special circumstances include:
– Severe financial hardship
– Temporary or permanent incapacity
– Compassionate grounds
– Temporary residents leaving Australia
– Super death benefits (inheriting super)
– Super less than $200
– Terminal medical condition

To avoid falling for an illegal early super release scam, be wary if the promoter:
– charges high fees and commissions;
– requests identity documents;
– claims you can access your super and put the funds towards whatever you wish;
– and tries to persuade you to transfer or rollover your super from your existing fund to a self-managed super fund (SMSF) in order to access your super before you are legally entitled.