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New approach to taxing employee shares welcomed by startups

A tax reform by the federal government will increase the scope of employers to issues employees with shares and stock options. Prior to 2009, employees receiving shares or stock options were able to defer paying tax, with many only paying CGT once they have disposed of the assets down the line. In order to increase budget revenue, the Labour government changed this arrangement, meaning that when an employee received shares, they incurred an immediate tax liability.

These restrictions meant that many startups often had to start paying employees higher salaries in order to retain talent. However, the benefits of startups being able to issues shares and stock options go beyond freeing up valuable cash flow. When employees have a stake in the future success of a startup commitment, motivation and engagement soar.

The federal government is considering a scheme modelled on a similar British approach, whereby the option to defer tax is limited to smaller companies. The Treasury is currently investigating what size thresholds will boost productivity without creating a problematic shortfall in budget revenue.

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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.