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Warning issued over tax avoidance schemes

The ATO has recently advised taxpayers to seek a second opinion on before entering into any tax avoidance schemes.

According to the ATO tax avoidance schemes are designed to appear legitimate, even to savvy investors. In particular taxpayers should be wary of complex financing schemes that rely heavily upon round robin financing schemes and non-recourse loans. Essentially, if the scheme involves reducing you’re your taxable income by declaring deductions that you are not entitled to, it is likely to be illegal.

If a provider tries to dissuade you from telling people about the scheme, or discourages you from seeking a second opinion, you should take this as a warning sign. Claims of ‘risk free’ or ‘zero risk’ tax avoidance schemes should also be treated with suspicion.

Entering into an illegal tax avoidance scheme, even if you were unaware that it was illegal, can result in a hefty tax burden.

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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.