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ATO amnesty offer reveals over 1000 offshore tax evaders

As part of their project DO IT, the ATO have successfully uncovered over $550 worth of assets that Australians hold offshore.

The tax office is offering a period of amnesty that allows them to come forward and reveal offshore assets without the risk of heavy penalties. The ATO will only assess four years of income for those who come forward and this will be subject to a maximum shortfall penalty of 10%. The ATO is also guaranteeing that there will be no prosecutions.

However, for taxpayers who do not reveal their offshore holdings before the mid-December deadline there may be a hefty tax bill. The full amount will be assessed as income, meaning almost half will go to the ATO. On top of that, because the assets were subject to tax evasion, the ATO may apply an additional penalty of 90%, and this can be subject to interest charges.

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Investing in shares vs property in SMSFs

March 19, 2020

Shares and property are two popular investment options for those with a self-managed super fund (SMSF). However, they both have very different attributes and choosing the one that will achieve the best outcome for an SMSF depends on your personal goals and situation.

While the price of shares can vary drastically, property is a relatively stable asset, making it appealing to those who want more security and predictability. Property prices are also negotiable unlike shares, and you can generally borrow money at a lower rate for property purchases.

It may seem hard to find the perfect investment property, but older and undercapitalised properties can be renovated for profit. However, returns from property rentals can be dented due to factors such as land tax, utilities and rates, maintenance and tenancy vacancies.

Shares are more dynamic and volatile than property. One advantage is the accessibility of investing in shares, as you can enter the share market with a few thousand dollars – much less than what you need to invest in a property.

Maintaining a portfolio of quality shares that pay tax-effective dividends may be a good way to fund retirement. With the right portfolio allocation, shares also have the potential to provide a better, stronger income than property rentals, as long as that income is sustainable and increasing.

Property can generally be used as a wealth-creation tool, while shares can create a reliable retirement income. For those who can afford to put more money into investments, it may be a good idea to consider investing and diversifying in both. If you’re unsure about which investment option is right for you, seeking financial advice may be the best option.