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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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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.