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ATO warning on aggressive tax planning

Posted on April 20, 2015 by admin


The ATO is warning taxpayers of aggressive tax planning strategies will attract a significant amount of scrutiny. A number of specific strategies have been flagged as aggressive in a video named ‘Tax Tricks That Will Get You In Trouble’. When it comes to tax avoidance schemes, it is not uncommon for individuals to be duped by a fraudulent investment opportunity or given bad advice from an unqualified financial planner. The advice that the ATO give is fairly straightforward: if a tax planning strategy seems too good to be true then it probably is. This is also advice that should be applied to investment returns that seem unrealistically high. Multiple research studies have proven that people with higher rates of education and investment experience are actually more likely to fall for fraudulent investment scams because they are less likely to seek an outside opinion.


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Australians warned that $1 million superannuation may be insufficient

Posted on by admin


For some time now, superannuation experts have been warning Australians not to be distracted by the seemingly large size of their retirement nest eggs. While the total balance of many super accounts may sound impressive, it can distract from the reality of the income stream it is likely to deliver. Between longer life expectancies, inflation, and low interest rates, retirement savings are not always delivering the expected retirement income. Obviously, a range individual circumstances will dictate how much an individual will need to cover their expenses in retirement. In particular, single retirees will tend to have significantly higher living expenses than those who are co-habitating. Furthermore, the trajectory of interest rates is a determining factor in how a nest egg  will perform in pension phase. And, as we all know, accurately predicting the future of interest rates is an impossible undertaking.


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Australians set to hit by ‘bracket creep’

Posted on April 7, 2015 by admin


The government’s tax white paper has revealed that in the next twelve months the average Australian will be pushed into the second highest tax bracket. As average wages become higher due to inflation, but do not actually rise in real terms, many taxpayers will be pushed up into a higher tax bracket. This phenomenon is known as bracket creep. Currently, the average Australian wage is around $75 000, meaning that a majority of the population sits in the third highest tax bracket ($3572 plus 32.5c for every dollar over $32 000. However, by 2016-17 the average wage will be around $80 000, pushing people into the second highest marginal tax bracket. Some experts are claiming that concerns surrounding bracket creep are overstated and that the government is most likely adjust marginal tax rates in response to wage inflation.


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Changes to SMSF 2017-18 annual return

June 15, 2018

There is a number of changes to the 2017-18 Self-managed super fund annual return (SAR) thanks to the super changes which came into effect on 1 July 2017.

Transition to retirement income stream (TRIS) account
The ATO has included a new label for the number of TRIS accounts an SMSF member has in accumulation phase.

A TRIS account is in accumulation phase unless the SMSF member has reached 65 years of age or has met another ‘nil’ cashing restriction condition of release (i.e., permanent incapacity, retirement or a terminal medical condition) and has advised their fund.

Limited recourse borrowing arrangements (LRBA)
New questions focused on the use of LRBAs and extra borrowings have been added to section H, items 15e and 16. SMSFs that hold assets under LRBAs will be required to complete these questions.

Correct calculation of a member’s total superannuation balance (TSB)
New labels to allow the make-up of the ‘closing account balance’ to be reported to support a more efficient calculation of a member’s TSB have been added.

The member’s TSB may affect their non-concessional contributions cap as well as other super caps from 30 June 2017.

Cessation of the temporary budget repair levy
Certain tax rates for superannuation entities have been reduced in line with the cessation of the temporary budget repair levy (payable by some individuals for 2014-15, 2015-16 and 2016-17).

These rates affected those individuals that applied to the taxable income of non-complying superannuation funds (47 per cent to 45 per cent) as well as the non-arm’s length component of the taxable income of a super fund (47 per cent to 45 per cent).

CGT relief
A new label has been added to the capital gains tax (CGT) schedule for the purpose of reporting deferred notional gains where the gain has been realised.

Early stage venture capital limited partnership tax offset
The ATO has added a new label to enable SMSFs to report the amount of unused early stage venture capital tax offset carried forward from the previous year.