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Amendment to Housing Affordability Measures introduced

The Treasury Laws Amendment (Reducing Pressure on Housing Affordability Measures) Bill 2019 was re-introduced to parliament on 23 October 2019. This comes after it was first announced in the 2017-18 Federal Budget.

The amendment introduces a new system where the government will provide up to an additional 10% capital gains tax (CGT) discount for resident individuals who invest in qualifying affordable housing from 1 January 2018. This increases the maximum CGT discount to 60%.

For the discount to be received, housing investments must meet qualifications and provide proof of eligibility. Tenants must have low to moderate incomes and landowners must charge rent at a discounted rate below the private market rental rate.

A registered community housing provider (CHP) must manage the properties and the investment is to be held for at least three years before the discount applies. The discounts will go through managed investment trusts (MITs). CHPs determine the tenant eligibility criteria, including the rent charged, consistent with state and territory affordable housing policies.

Investors who already have invested in affordable housing with the National Rental Affordability Scheme (NRAS) will not receive the additional 10% discount as they already get a yearly financial incentive.

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Self-managed super funds (SMSF) aren’t just about financial investment

December 3, 2020

Individuals may be looking to opt for an SMSF because these provide entire control over where the money is invested. While this sounds enticing, the downside is that they involve a lot more time and effort as all investment is managed by the members/trustees.

Firstly, SMSFs require a lot of on-going investment of time:

Data shows that SMSF trustees spend an average of 8 hours per month managing their SMSFs. This adds up to more than 100 hours per year and demonstrates that compared to other superannuation methods, is a lot more time occupying.

Secondly, there are set-up and maintenance costs of SMSFs such as tax advice, financial advice, legal advice and hiring an accredited auditor. These costs are difficult to avoid if you want the best out of your SMSF. A statistical review has shown that on average, the operating cost of an SMSF is $6,152. This data is inclusive of deductible and non-deductible expenses such as auditor fee, management and administration expenses etc., but not inclusive of costs such as investment and insurance expenses.

Thirdly, investing in SMSF requires financial and legal knowledge and skill. Trustees should understand the investment market so that they can build and manage a diversified portfolio. Further, when creating an investment strategy, it is important to assess the risk and plan ahead for retirement, which can be difficult if one is not equipped with the necessary knowledge. In terms of legal knowledge, complying with tax, super and other relevant regulations requires a basic level of understanding at the very least. Finally, insurance for fund members also needs to be organised which can be difficult without additional knowledge.
Although SMSFs have the advantage of autonomy when it comes to investing, this comes at a price. Members/trustees need to invest time and money into managing the fund and on top of this, are required to have some financial and legal knowledge to successfully manage the fund.