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Assistance available for SMSFs and their members

The Government’s economic response to coronavirus will provide SMSFs and their members with additional support, including reducing minimum drawdown rates and early release of superannuation.

The minimum annual payment required for account-based pensions and annuities has been reduced in an initiative to assist retirees. For the 2019-20 and 2020-21 financial years, the minimum annual payment required for members has been reduced by 50%.

If the minimum drawdown amount has been paid, no further payments will be required for the rest of the year. Those who have already paid more than the minimum drawdown amount are able to have their member recontribute this amount if the member is eligible to make contributions. Re-contributions will continue to be subjected to rules or limits, such as contributions caps.

Members of SMSFs who have been adversely affected by COVID-19 may be able to access up to $10,000 of their super before 1 July 2020, as well as a further $10,000 between 1 July 2020 and 24 September 2020, on compassionate grounds. To be eligible, members must satisfy at least one of the following criteria:

Applications for early access can be made through myGov.

In addition to these initiatives, the Government will also be automatically deferring the lodgement of 2019 SMSF annual returns until 30 Junes 2020.

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News

SMSF property investment regulations to keep in mind

June 2, 2020

Property is a common investment option for SMSFs, however, the ATO has a number of regulations SMSF owners need to be wary of. The ATO is particularly concerned with those using SMSF assets to invest in property in a way that is detrimental to retirement purposes.

To ensure you do not breach provisions of the Superannuation Industry (Supervision) Act 1993 (SISA), here is a breakdown of the ATO’s common regulatory concerns:

Also keep in mind that you cannot improve a property or change the nature of a property while there is a loan in place. While you can look to make additional contributions to your SMSF to speed up the loan repayment process, you will be precluded from making further contributions to your SMSF if any outstanding loans in your super balance exceed $1.6 million.

In the case that any of the ATO’s regulatory concerns apply to you and your SMSF’s involvement with property investment, confirm your situation and report your circumstances to the ATO. Additional regulatory matters regarding income tax such as non-arm’s length income (NALI) provisions as well as GST need to be reported as well.