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Lost or destroyed tax records

Posted on May 26, 2015 by admin


Taxpayers are responsible for safely storing a written backup copy of their tax record in case the original electronic form becomes inaccessible or unreadable. Where the tax records are accidently lost or destroyed from a burglary or fire, the ATO will allow a taxpayer to claim a deduction for certain expenses. The conditions are: – The taxpayer has a complete copy of a lost or destroyed document. – The ATO is satisfied that the taxpayer took acceptable precautions to avoid the loss or destruction of the form. If the tax record was a written document, it is not reasonably possible to attain a substitute document. It is important that taxpayers keep a record of these circumstances and inform the tax office in writing to back up the claim.


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SMSF and investing in property

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While using a self-managed super fund (SMSF) to buy an investment property has become increasingly popular, members must carefully consider whether it supports their overall investment strategy before they go ahead with this investment approach. There is a condition that the SMSF trustee or any of their relatives cannot buy the property with the intention to live in it. The sole purpose of using an SMSF to buy a property must be to build wealth for retirement. With this in mind, a member must buy an investment property for logical reasons and not because they are emotionally attached to it. The importance of the property’s return on investment outweighs the property’s views and facilities. Before purchasing an investment property, a SMSF member must evaluate how long it will take them to repay the debt. Current rent rates and the level of superannuation payments made by members should provide an indicator of whether it will be paid off in time for retirement. Otherwise, they may need to factor in selling the investment at the time of retirement or putting off their retirement. Members must also take into consideration that some investment properties are more suited to a SMSF, such as properties with […]


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How to catch out an illegal super scheme

April 18, 2018

When a super scheme seems too good to be true, it often is. Many illegal super schemes are operating in Australia, so it is crucial to understand the characteristics of such schemes.

A popular illegal scheme is one whereby an individual is enticed by being told they can access their super early to pay off a credit card debt, go on a holiday, buy a car and so on. Generally, such schemes are illegal as superannuation can only be accessed early by meeting a condition of release.

Those promoting such schemes usually:
– Encourage individuals to transfer super from an existing super fund to an SMSF to access super before they are legally entitled to;
– Target those under financial pressure or who do not understand the super laws;
– Claim you can use your super for anything you want;
– Charge high fees and commissions, and risk losing some or all of the individuals super to them.

Unfortunately, participating in these schemes subject the affected individual to identity theft from the promoter of the scheme. Identity theft is when someone uses another person’s details to commit fraud or other crimes.

Individuals need to be aware that super is usually only accessible once the preservation age is reached and they stop working. The preservation age is currently 55 years old for those born before 1 July 1960 and 60 years old for those born after 30 June 1964.

Superannuation can only be accessed early in special circumstances such as severe financial hardship and for specific medical conditions. There are severe penalties for illegally accessing your super early.