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Making smart investment choices in your SMSF

Posted on October 24, 2014 by admin


One of the most exciting things about self-managing your superannuation is the ability to make your own investment choices. In SMSFs, there are also a lot more investment options available, and it can be tempting to get a little creative with your portfolio. However, unless you are extremely confident and familiar with the investment, or have received trusted professional advice, it is advisable to be wary of unorthodox investment options. Especially if someone is making a hard sales pitch, because good investments sell themselves! This week the ATO released a warning about telemarketers trying to convince SMSF trustees to invest in high-risk collectables, such as art. If you are considering investing in collectables, which can be a great addition to your portfolio, you should always have them independently valued. If you are considering investing in unusual areas, you should also make sure that the investment meets the sole purpose test.


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Australia’s superannuation system ranked world’s second best

Posted on October 15, 2014 by admin


The Mercer Global Pension Index, a comprehensive annual report that rates the quality of international retirement schemes, has placed Australia’s superannuation system as the world’s second best. Denmark was ranked number one, with the Netherlands, Finland and Switzerland rounding out the top five. Australia, Canada, Chile and Singapore were the only non-European states to make the top ten. Representatives from groups representing the interests of Australian retirees have expressed surprise at the finding, pointing out that the full pension rate currently sits close to the poverty line. Australia’s position improved thanks to the recent superannuation guarantee increase from 9.25%-9.5%. Industry representatives have claimed that if the guarantee rises to 12%, as is the government’s long-term plan, Australia could reach the number one position.


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ATO amnesty offer reveals over 1000 offshore tax evaders

Posted on by admin


As part of their project DO IT, the ATO have successfully uncovered over $550 worth of assets that Australians hold offshore. The tax office is offering a period of amnesty that allows them to come forward and reveal offshore assets without the risk of heavy penalties. The ATO will only assess four years of income for those who come forward and this will be subject to a maximum shortfall penalty of 10%. The ATO is also guaranteeing that there will be no prosecutions. However, for taxpayers who do not reveal their offshore holdings before the mid-December deadline there may be a hefty tax bill. The full amount will be assessed as income, meaning almost half will go to the ATO. On top of that, because the assets were subject to tax evasion, the ATO may apply an additional penalty of 90%, and this can be subject to interest charges.


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Expanded super for older Australians

April 12, 2019

The 2019-20 Federal Budget has placed a strong focus on the growth of the economy whilst also having the intention to look after older Australians.

Older Australians will benefit from the work test exemption age being extended from age 64 to 66. The work test requires an individual to work at least 40 hours in any 30 day period in the financial year in order to make voluntary personal contributions.

This change in age will now allow individuals aged 65 and 66 who previously didn’t meet the work test to contribute three years of after-tax contributions in a single year, meaning up to $300,000 can be injected into an account with less than $1.6 million in super (tax-free pension threshold). This adjustment aligns with the increase for the Age Pension from 65 to 67.

Spousal contributions can now be made until age 74, up from age 65, without having to meet the work test. Under spousal contribution regulations, an individual can claim an 18% tax offset of contributions up to $3,000 made on behalf of a non-working partner. A further $3,000 can be contributed but with no tax offset.