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SMSF deadline approaches for limited recourse borrowing arrangements

SMSF trustees have until 31 January 2017 to review their limited recourse borrowing arrangements (LRBAs) to ensure they are consistent with an arm’s length dealing, or alternatively brought to an end if they are not.

The Tax Office recently provided further guidance to SMSF trustees on when the non-arm’s length income (NALI) provisions apply to an SMSF’s LRBA in their Practical Compliance Guideline (PCG 2016/5) and Taxation Determination (TD 2016/16).

When determining whether the NALI provisions apply, SMSF trustees must recognise it is a two-step process. First, it needs to be determined whether:
1. The terms of the LRBA are consistent with the safe harbours in PCG 2016/5
2. The SMSF trustee can otherwise demonstrate that they are arm’s length.

If the borrowing arrangement is on arm’s length then SMSF trustees do not have to consider TD 2016/16 and the ATO will not apply the NALI provisions.

However, trustees with an LRBA on terms that are non-arm’s length will need to consider TD 2016/16. Trustees will need to consider the second limb of the NALI provisions and whether or not the income the fund obtains under the arrangement is greater than it would otherwise have been.

SMSF trustees should be aware that TD 2016/16 is not an alternative to the safe harbours set out in PCG 2016/5 and only applies if borrowing terms of an LRBA are non-arm’s length.

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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.