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The wide ranging superannuation reforms originally announced in the 2016-17 Federal Budget have passed Parliament.

 

As the majority of the reforms start from 1 July 2017, it's important to consider how these might impact on you and whether you need to take any action before then.

 

Please contact Rachael Keuning  on 5592 3644 or rachael@walshaccountants.com if you would like to discuss the impact of these reforms. 

 

Walsh Accountants in-house SMSF Specialist, Tax Specialist, and Accounting Team will be more than happy to discuss your queries/concerns with you.  

KEY REFORMS INCLUDE:  Read more…

Life-time limit on Non-concessional Contributions 

Non-concessional contributions are contributions for which no tax deduction is claimed.  Prior to Budget night these contributions were limited to $180,000 per year (or $540,000 every three years for individuals aged under 65 utilising the "bring forward" rule). 

Effective from 7.30pm (AEST) on 3 May 2016, a lifetime non-concessional contributions limit of $500,000 is to be introduced. To ensure maximum effectiveness, this limit will take into account all non-concessional contributions made on or after 1 July 2007.  Accordingly, extreme care should be taken in respect of any future non-concessional contributions. 

Pensions - $1.6m transfer balance cap   

Currently income earned by a superannuation fund in pension phase is tax free.                           Read more…

Budget Whispers - Could this affect your Retirement Plan?

In recent weeks, the media has been overrun with commentary about what the 2016 federal budget may contain in relation to superannuation.  

Over the past ten years a popular strategy employed by many Australians has been affectionately referred to as 'Transition to Retirement' (TTR) whereby persons still working are able to access between 4% and 10% of their superannuation account balance per annum. This is typically coupled with a salary sacrifice arrangement to replace the drawings from the fund and reduce the overall income tax liability.

Firmly in the headlights is the Transition to Retirement strategy with media commentary suggesting that this strategy may be in the firing line for change, or even abolition, in the budget.

We spoke with Lewis Clelland from Corso Private Wealth; he commented "whilst salary sacrificing will still be available, there is a very real chance the government will close the door to new participants of the pre-retirement TTR strategy thereby only allowing access to superannuation monies when a person has fully retired"

Additionally Lewis said "In the past the majority of changes to superannuation apply prospectively and any existing arrangements are typically grandfathered. Therefore clients who are currently undertaking this strategy should be able to continue to do so – of course there are no guarantees when it comes to government policy".   Read more…

The ATO has issued a stern warning to SMSFs with collectible assets ahead of rule changes that come into effect on 1 July this year.

Following the 2010 Cooper Review, the rules relating to ownership of collectibles in an SMSF have been tightened. 
Under the new rules, there are a series of investment standards that need to be met by the SMSF holding the collectibles, including that the asset cannot be stored in a private residence of a related party. In addition, there must be a documented decision about asset storage. 

Most significantly, the collectible must be insured in the fund's name within seven days of the SMSF acquiring it. 

Speaking at the SMSF Association's national conference in Adelaide last week, the ATO's Kasey Macfarlane said the commissioner is not going to be sympathetic to those who have not met the new standards.  Read more…

Bad Deeds: Is your SMSF at risk?

Your SMSF's trust deed is its rulebook.  If the deed does not allow or recognise something then the trustees can't do it.  Despite this, a lot of trustees are unaware of what their trust deed says – it was just something that was required when the fund was established.  The problem with any document is that unless you amend it, it is only current for the circumstances that existed at that time.  However, the law changes regularly and so do individual circumstances.   This month, we shortcut the review process and highlight the key SMSF trust deed problem areas.

Trust deed does not allow the types of payments being made

Trust deed does not recognise life changes and estate planning needs

Flexibility and control

 

Read more…

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