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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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How does the super guarantee charge work?

September 20, 2017

Employers who do not pay the minimum amount of super guarantee for their employee(s) by the due date may have to pay the super guarantee charge (SGC).

The charge is made up of super guarantee shortfall amounts including any choice liability calculated on your employee’s salary or wages, interest on those amounts (currently 10 per cent) and an administration fee ($20 per employee, per quarter).

Employers must report and rectify the missing payment by lodging an SGC statement by the due date and paying the SGC to the ATO. Employers may be able to use a late payment to reduce the amount of SGC, however, they must still lodge an SGC statement and pay the balance of the SGC to the ATO.

The ATO prioritises the collection of unpaid SGC debts. If an employee reports an employer for unpaid super, the ATO will investigate on their behalf.

Employers must lodge their SGC statement and pay the charge by the due date.

Quarter Period Due date
1 1 July – 30 September 28 November
2 1 October – 31 December 28 February
3 1 January – 31 March 28 May
4 1 April – 30 June 28 August

If a due date falls on a weekend or public holiday, the payment can be made the next working day.

Once the statement has been lodged and the SGC is paid, the ATO will transfer the super guarantee shortfall amount and any interest to the employee’s chosen super fund.