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Maximising your personal tax return

There are a couple of things that you can do before June 30 to maximise your personal tax return:

1. Spend up on deductible expenses: By prepaying your tax-deductible expenses for the year, you can bring the deduction forward into the current financial year.

3. Charitable donations: If you are considering donating money to charity, get it done quickly so that you can claim a deduction in this financial year.

2. Delay receiving income: If you can, try to defer receiving income until after June 30. By doing this, you will be able to minimise your taxable income in this financial year.

4. Fix up investment properties: If you own an investment property, you may wish to bring forward any maintenance. You can claim a lot of work that is done to an investment property as a tax deduction.

5. High income earners should consider health insurance: To avoid the Medicare Levy Surcharge, high-income earners may wish to take out private health cover.

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How to catch out an illegal super scheme

April 18, 2018

When a super scheme seems too good to be true, it often is. Many illegal super schemes are operating in Australia, so it is crucial to understand the characteristics of such schemes.

A popular illegal scheme is one whereby an individual is enticed by being told they can access their super early to pay off a credit card debt, go on a holiday, buy a car and so on. Generally, such schemes are illegal as superannuation can only be accessed early by meeting a condition of release.

Those promoting such schemes usually:
– Encourage individuals to transfer super from an existing super fund to an SMSF to access super before they are legally entitled to;
– Target those under financial pressure or who do not understand the super laws;
– Claim you can use your super for anything you want;
– Charge high fees and commissions, and risk losing some or all of the individuals super to them.

Unfortunately, participating in these schemes subject the affected individual to identity theft from the promoter of the scheme. Identity theft is when someone uses another person’s details to commit fraud or other crimes.

Individuals need to be aware that super is usually only accessible once the preservation age is reached and they stop working. The preservation age is currently 55 years old for those born before 1 July 1960 and 60 years old for those born after 30 June 1964.

Superannuation can only be accessed early in special circumstances such as severe financial hardship and for specific medical conditions. There are severe penalties for illegally accessing your super early.