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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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SMSF annual return for pension phase trustees

November 15, 2017

Self-managed super fund (SMSF) trustees who are in pension phase must lodge their SMSF annual returns if they remain active, or choose to wind up the fund.

The ATO is warning SMSF trustees about their regulatory obligations and is paying close attention to those SMSFs that are not meeting their lodgment obligations.

Trustees must lodge a Self-managed superannuation fund annual return 2017 if it was a self-managed super fund on 30 June 2017, or a self-managed super fund that was wound up during 2016-17.

Super funds that are not SMSFs at the end of 2016-17 must use the fund income tax return 2017 and, where required, a separate super member contributions statement.

Even if your fund does not have a tax liability, your SMSF must lodge an SMSF annual return.