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Advantages of an SMSF

For most Australians, superannuation is one of their most important assets, usually only coming second to the family home. Superannuation is a great way to plan for your retirement, offering you a lot of tax breaks and ensuring that you are putting money aside for the future you want.

However, it can be unsettling when you do not know exactly where and how this crucial asset is being invested. It is natural to want to have more control over your super, and to understand exactly where your money is invested.

Unfortunately, many industry, retail and corporate funds can be very vague in letting you know where your money is, for example simply saying ‘Australian shares’. Additionally, the choice of risk categories offered to members are often not specific enough to fully reflect your individual investment needs.

Starting an SMSF is not just about choice, but also control. You can create a more sophisticated investment strategy that is perfectly aligned with your risk appetite, ensuring that your money is doing precisely what you want it to do.

Recently, it has become possible for SMSFs to borrow money in order to purchase property. This means that when members reach pension age, they will be able to take control of the property, something that is not possible in other types of funds.

SMSF members also have a greater degree of control over the tax liabilities of their superannuation, and there are many effective tax minimisation strategies available to SMSFs.

There are also some advantages that are specific to business owners. Under some specific circumstances, your SMSF can even  purchase your business premises, and the business can, in turn, lease the property from the SMSF.

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News

SMSFs: beware of illegal early super release

July 13, 2018

The Australian Tax Office (ATO) is reminding self-managed super fund (SMSF) trustees to beware of allowing members to access their super early.

A self-managed super fund (SMSF) trustee must meet a condition of release before any funds can legally be released.

The ATO can issue severe penalties if you or a SMSF member access your super before you are legally entitled to do so.

Some consequences of getting caught up in an illegal super scheme include the disqualification of trustees, imposition of administrative penalties, the fund being made non-complying and prosecution.

The Tax Office encourages those members who have been involved in an illegal super scheme to contact them immediately. The ATO will review your voluntary disclosure and take your circumstances into account when determining any penalties.