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Christmas giving (tax free!)

The holiday season is a great time to think about giving a little back to those less fortunate than you, and many Australians will make charitable donations. In Australia, charitable donations are tax deductible, which only adds to the incentive to be generous this year.

A recent global survey of charitable giving across the world has shown that countries that award taxpayers benefits for donations report much higher rates of donations per capita.

Here are some tips for maximising your tax breaks on donations tis year:

1. Make sure that the charity that you donate to has tax-exempt status from the ATO
2. Keep your receipts! You may need it if you are audited
3. If you are making a large donation, discuss the tax implications with your accountant, just to be on the safe side
4. Remember that you can only claim gifts as a tax deduction. This means that if you have received anything in return for your donation, for example, a raffle ticket or trinket, you may not be able to claim the deduction.

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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.