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Guide to tax-deductible gifts

Giving to charity this Christmas is a great way to give to those less fortunate while receiving some extra tax perks.

Charitable donations are tax deductible which only adds to the incentive to be generous this holiday season.

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

The charity must be registered
Make sure the charity you donate to has been endorsed by the ATO as a deductible gift recipient (DGR) organisation. It is important to note that not all charities are endorsed as a DGR.

The gift must truly be a gift
The donation must be a gift, not an exchange for something material. This means if you have received items in return that provide you with some personal benefit, such as raffle tickets, you cannot claim the deduction as a gift or donation.

Check relevant gift conditions
The ATO considers a gift as a voluntary transfer of money or property, including financial assets such as shares. For some DGRs, the income tax law adds extra conditions affecting the types of deductible gifts they can receive. If you are considering a sizeable donation, discuss the tax implications with your accountant.

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Understanding various kinds of super fees

February 16, 2018

No matter the kind of superfund you opt for, you will be subject to super fees. Understanding how these fees work and the difference they can make to your next egg is vital.

When it comes to superfund fees, there are two factors you need to get your head around; the kinds of fees you are being charged and the rate of fees you pay. Opting for a superfund based on these two factors can see you retire with hundreds of thousands more money.

You should be aware of the various types of fees you are being charged. If you would like to find out the fees you are being charged, you should do two things. Firstly, Google your fund’s product disclosure statement and scroll through to the fees section. You should see a list of different types of fees, with an explanation of what they are, how they are applied, and how often they will be incurred. Secondly, you should log in to your superfund account and take note of all the fees being charged to you. Investigate how closely these correspond and correlate with the product disclosure statement.

If you feel there are discrepancies, do not hesitate to contact your superfund or financial advisor and ask for clarification. It is worthwhile doing your research and comparing the fees you are being charged against other super funds and what they charge. Being complacent and not paying attention to your super is extremely irresponsible; the dividends you will receive later in life for being diligent now outweighs the burden of taking time to be informed today.

Some of the common super fees across the board include:

Another major factor contributing to how much you accumulate in your super account throughout your working life is the rate of fees you pay. Plain and simple, some funds offer much lower fees than other, creating a difference of hundreds of thousands of dollars when it comes time to retire.

Generally, funds are categorised into three groups; low super fees, medium super fees and high super fees. Ultimately, you want to be in a fund that charges low super fees. In saying this, it’s not only about super fees, as some funds have medium-high super fees but also perform better based on investment strategy, meaning you will get more back from your investments.