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Basics of SMSF investing

Posted on January 21, 2021 by admin


Setting up an SMSF fund is the simplest step. Establishing a fund which delivers you consistent returns from your investments is much more difficult. Investing successfully involves determining precise goals and picking investments which will effectively achieve those goals. The advantage of SMSFs is that you can build a portfolio which reflects your short-term and long-term goals in response to changing market conditions. In an SMSF fund, your investment options are: Australian and international shares (listed and unlisted) Residential or commercial property Cash and term deposits Fixed income products Physical commodities Property Collectibles Before you begin investing, consider what might be the best way to diversify your portfolio. How you portion your investments will depend on your funds, the market, and your goals. Regardless of what your plan is, diversification should be a priority. Choosing an SMSF as opposed to an industry or retail super fund provides you with more flexibility, but also with more responsibility. Researching before investing is key if you want the best out of your SMSF.


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Taxation of your unused leave when leaving a job

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When your job ends, whether there has been a termination of employment or redundancy you will receive a payment for unused leave. This payment will be taxed differently from your normal income. The taxation will vary depending on the reason why you left the job and any unused entitlements that have been accrued over your employment (long service leave or sick leave). Lump sum payments that you receive for unused annual leave or unused long service leave are taxed at a lower rate than other income. These lump sum payments will appear on your income statement or payment summary as either ‘lump sum A’ or ‘lump sum B’. These payments may also be taxed differently if you lost your job as a result of Covid-19.


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Protecting yourself from super scams

Posted on January 14, 2021 by admin


Superannuation is an attractive target for scammers as a significant volume of funds are placed into super funds by Australians. There are some straightforward steps you can take to protect yourself from super scams. Know the rules Becoming familiar with the rules surrounding superannuation will alert you against scams which make false claims e.g. offering early access to your super Keep up to date with the relevant authorities and so that you don’t put in your personal information into the wrong websites – always check that relevant institutions have verified their authenticity! Check your balance and contact details Check what your super balance is on a regular basis – if you notice something that doesn’t quite look right then immediately get into contact with your super fund and ask them about what could have happened. Every once in a while, check that your super fund has the right postal address, email address and mobile number – this will help them get in touch with you if they spot any suspicious activity. Stop identity theft Taking the steps to stop identity theft will also help protect your super This does not have to be all too complicated e.g. shred important documents, […]


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Fuel tax credits for businesses

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The government provides fuel tax credits for businesses with a credit for the fuel tax (excise or customs) that is included in the price of fuel used in machinery, plant, equipment, heavy vehicles, and light vehicles travelling off public roads or on private roads. Fuel tax credits a business receives depend on when the fuel was acquired, which fuel you used, and what it was used for. Since fuel credits change regularly, it is necessary to check rates each time the business activity statement (BAS) is filled out. Eligibility Certain fuels and activities are not eligible Must be registered for GST when fuel was acquired Must be registered for fuel tax credits when you lodge the claim


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Finding your lost super

Posted on January 7, 2021 by admin


Changing of name, address or job can mean that you lose track of some of your super. This means that there is money that belongs to you that is not currently in your super fund. Finding your super will collate your previous lost funds with your current account. It is likely that your lost super is held by the ATO. Create an account on myGov and link it to the ATO and select ‘Super’. Once you have done this, you will be able to see the details of all of your past and current super accounts including any lost or forgotten ones. You will also be able to find funds which have been held by the ATO on your behalf. Further, you will be able to consolidate your super funds into a single fund. Once you have found your lost super, remember to conduct research about which fund is providing you with the best returns before you choose which fund to consolidate with.


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Lodging your business activity statement

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Businesses that are registered for GST are required to lodge a business activity statement (BAS). These assist in the reporting and payment of: Goods and services tax (GST) Pay as you go (PAYG) instalments PAYG withholding tax Other tax obligations ATO will automatically send businesses who are registered for an ABN and GST a BAS when it is due for lodgement. Businesses are given various options to lodge their BAS: Online services for individuals and sole traders – which may be accessed through myGov Business Portal – which is a secure website created by the ATO to assist businesses in managing their tax online SBR-enabled software – which allows access to lodgement from different financial, accounting and payroll software and can be integrated to industry-specific business software.


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Life insurance through your super

Posted on December 17, 2020 by admin


Over 70% of Australians have life insurance through their super fund. This acts as a financial safety net through your super if something unexpected happens. There are 3 main types of life insurance that super funds usually provide: Life cover: Also known as death cover, this type of insurance pays a lump sum or income stream to beneficiaries when you die or have a terminal illness. TDP (total and permanent disability) insurance: If you become disabled or it is unlikely that you will be able to work again then this insurance will pay you a benefit. Income protection insurance: Also known as salary continuance cover, pays a regular income for a specified period (length of time or up to a certain age) if you are unable to work due to temporary disability or illness. Pros of life insurance through super Cheaper premiums: Super fund buys insurance policies in bulk so it is cheaper for their customers Easy to pay: Automatically deducted from super’s balance Fewer health checks: Super funds accept default level of cover without health checks – particularly useful if you have a high-risk job or health conditions. But, remember that you should check the product disclosure statement (PDS) […]


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What do tax audits involve?

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Tax audits are conducted when the ATO deems that a more extensive examination of an issue is necessary. These audits can be conducted on a fairly basic level or they can be much more in-depth and analytical. In most cases, there will be a review which then leads to an audit, but this isn’t always necessary. A review may not be deemed necessary in cases where fraud or evasion is suspected or there is a high risk associated with the transaction. The ATO states that they will be transparent about the following aspects of an Audit: Scope, periods under audit and expected completion date ATO’s risk hypothesis and information required to assess the hypothesis Choice of channel to provide information to ATO How audit will be conducted (key milestones and relevant guidelines) Advantages of, and procedures for, making voluntary disclosures Expectations from individuals/businesses when information has been requested for records Circumstances in which ATO can be expected to use their formal powers Cooperating with the ATO’s requests is the ideal response. If there is a lack of cooperation, then the ATO can use their formal powers to access the information they are seeking: Notice powers: Require you to give information, […]


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Conditions to accessing your super

Posted on December 10, 2020 by admin


You may find that accessing your super is the best way to meet your financial needs in a given situation, for example in the early stages of the pandemic. Individuals are able to legally access the funds in their super earlier but there are conditions of release. Common conditions of lease: Reaching your preservation age and retiring (preservation age is between 55 and 60, depending on the individual’s date of birth) Reaching preservation age and starting a transition to retirement income stream (TRIS) Ceasing employment once you are 60 or over (even if you don’t retire) Being 65 or over (even if you don’t retire) Death There are more conditions of release that allow individuals to access their super early: Suffering from financial hardship (more resources due to Covid-19) Compassionate grounds Diagnosed with a terminal medical condition Temporarily/Permanently incapacitated First Home Super Saver Scheme Temporary resident departing Australia If you terminate gainful employment with less than $200 in your super account


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How to reduce the tax you pay

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There are various potential ways you can reduce the tax you pay. You may be entitled to tax deductions, offsets or you may choose to opt for salary packaging. Tax deductions will reduce your taxable income amount. For example, potential tax deductions are work-related expenses, self-education expenses, charitable donations, the cost of managing your taxes. These deductions will reduce the amount of income on which tax is calculated. Tax offsets apply after tax has been calculated, alternatively known as rebates. These will reduce the amount of tax payable. For example, some offsets you could claim are low/middle-income earners, taxpayers with an invalid relative, pensioners and senior Australians, the taxable portion of a superannuation income stream. Salary packaging allows you to ‘package’ your income into salary and benefits. There are many potential ways you can package your salary. For example, you could arrange to earn less salary in exchange for higher superannuation payments. By reducing your salary this way, you are reducing your taxable income.


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Basics of SMSF investing

January 21, 2021

Setting up an SMSF fund is the simplest step. Establishing a fund which delivers you consistent returns from your investments is much more difficult.

Investing successfully involves determining precise goals and picking investments which will effectively achieve those goals. The advantage of SMSFs is that you can build a portfolio which reflects your short-term and long-term goals in response to changing market conditions.

In an SMSF fund, your investment options are:

Before you begin investing, consider what might be the best way to diversify your portfolio. How you portion your investments will depend on your funds, the market, and your goals. Regardless of what your plan is, diversification should be a priority.

Choosing an SMSF as opposed to an industry or retail super fund provides you with more flexibility, but also with more responsibility. Researching before investing is key if you want the best out of your SMSF.