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How Do You Make Sure Your Super Goes To The Right Person When You Die?

What happens to your super when you die? It might not be a question that has cropped up in many people’s minds, but it is something that you should be concerned about.

Upon the untimely death of someone, their superannuation may be one of the elements of the estate that can be bequeathed and divided between their loved ones (trustees of the estate and beneficiaries. 

This is not done through your will though, as it isn’t automatically included unless specific instructions have been given to your super fund. Often this is done through a binding death benefit nomination. These payments are usually paid out in lump sum payments and split between beneficiaries as dictated by the deceased.

However, like any property or asset that can be challenged, the death benefits from superannuation and SMSF can be a legal quandary if the appropriate succession planning measures have not been put into place.

Death benefits are one of the most commonly occurring legal issues that plague the superannuation and SMSF sector for individuals. Many court cases involving death benefits are the result of poor succession planning, as individuals who were not stated to be recipients of the payments miss out on what may be supposed to be theirs.

In the event of an individual’s death, the deceased’s dependent can be paid a death benefit payment as either a super income stream or a lump sum. The non-dependants of the deceased can only be paid in a lump sum. The form of the death benefit payment (and who receives it) will depend on the governing rules of your fund and the relevant requirements of the Superannuation Industry (Supervision) Regulations 1994 (SISR).

If succession planning around who the superannuation is to be left to is in place by the deceased, those who may be classed as dependents and non-dependents can become legally blurred.

In any event, dependents are defined differently depending on what kind of law they are being examined under (superannuation law and taxation law).

Under superannuation law, a death benefits dependant includes:

Under taxation law, a death benefits dependant includes:

Depending on the type of law that the beneficiary is classified under affects how they can interact with the death benefits.

How Do I Make Sure My Beneficiaries Will Receive The Death Benefits That I Want Them To Have? 

Death benefit payments need to be nominated by the holder of the superfund, as superannuation is not automatically included in your will. If you fail to make a nomination, your super fund may decide who receives your super money regardless of who is in your will.

That’s why succession planning is important when it comes to death benefits, no matter the situation. Even if you are at your healthiest, you’ll want to be prepared for any eventuality.

To get your succession planning right, here are 5 tips that will help you during the process.

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Business Activity Statements – How To Take The Sting Out Of The Quarterly Payment

January 24, 2022

Been hearing a lot about business activity statements, and feeling more than a little pressure?

Kicking off the new year for your business shouldn’t be shrouded in the darkness that can be a looming BAS. But how can you be certain that your business is prepared?

To start with, demystifying the BAS might alleviate some of that anxiety and pressure your business may have been facing. Essentially, a business activity statement (BAS) is a government form that all businesses must lodge to the Australian Tax Office (ATO). All businesses registered for GST need to lodge a business activity statement (BAS). This can be done with the assistance of a registered tax agent or BAS agent.

A BAS is a summary of all the business taxes you have paid or will pay to the government during a specific period of time. You may lodge your BAS monthly, quarterly or annually (depending on the size of your business you may not have the annual or quarterly option) or may do so through your tax/BAS agent.

When lodging your BAS, you need to include these payments within it:

A BAS is issued by the ATO either monthly or quarterly. A form needs to be lodged with the ATO and payment made to the ATO by the due dates as follows:

(as registered tax agents we are given an extension to most of these deadlines)

You may instead be eligible to submit an Instalment Activity Statement (IAS). In the IAS, the ATO tells you every quarter what your GST instalment amount is and where applicable your PAYG instalment amount is.  Essentially, the IAS is a form that is similar to the BAS, but simpler in that you do not have to be concerned about GST and some other nominated taxes.

Businesses that are not registered for GST and individuals who are required to pay PAYG instalments or PAYG withholding (such as self-funded retirees) use this form to pay PAYG.

IAS provides a little more flexibility in the arrangement as the instalments are advised by the ATO on what you need to pay to cover your liabilities.

You may be able to vary those amounts if you feel that the advised instalments are too much or not enough to cover your liabilities. You may also be able to pay the amount in one lump sum at the end of the year. Before changing the amount due, or the timing of the payment, it’s best to consult with us (or your registered BAS agent) for additional advice to suit your circumstances.

Preparing For Your BAS

Your IAS and BAS can be used to assist in monitoring your business finances. Though you only need to lodge these every quarter, waiting until the due date to get all of the information you require for the statements may cause you to miss out on critical observations (such as how much you may actually owe the ATO).

Daily tracking of your income and expenses can assist in calculating your GST and other liabilities on your BAS, and allows you to ensure that there won’t be any nasty surprises waiting for you.

Here are some tips on how you can prepare for your BAS or IAS this quarter