News and Views

Budget Super Changes passed into Law

After months of uncertainty, the Senate has passed the Federal Government's superannuation reform package. The initial proposal from the May 2016 Federal Budget has seen significant amendments. Much of the change has a commencement date of 1 July 2017 and generally speaking, the superannuation environment will be more restrictive after July 2017. This provides superannuation fund members with a seven-month window to take advantage of the existing provisions and best position their superannuation assets to provide maximum benefits into the future. The opportunity is significant and the time to act is now.

Transitional Provisions for SMSFs

The Government will apply transitional arrangements to SMSFs affected by the retrospective aspects of the Federal Budget’s proposal to limit non-concessional contributions. In the 2016-17 Federal Budget, the introduction of a lifetime cap of $500,000 on non-concessional superannuation contributions, including contributions since 2007, was announced. 

Avoiding SMSF Disputes

Self-managed super funds (SMSFs) can be vulnerable to disputes, especially when family members are involved.
 
If left unresolved, disputes surrounding SMSFs can result in a hefty bill. SMSF disputes may be caused by various relationship breakdowns, for example, those funds with parents and siblings as members and trustees, or in cases where there is simply a clear difference of opinion.

ATO Targeting SMSF Tax Avoidance

The Australian Tax Office has its sight set on an emerging tax avoidance tactic being taken up by a number of self-managed superannuation funds. 

The ATO has warned individuals (at or approaching retirement age) not to use a strategy known as diverting personal services income (PSI) through their SMSF to minimise or avoid their income tax obligations. 

Buyer beware: the new risk to clients funding insurance in super

It may be hard to believe but we’re almost on the home straight of what has felt like the longest election campaign in recent history. And while both of the major parties have unveiled a number of policies over the past two months on key issues ranging from higher education, to innovation, penalty rates – and of course, “jobs and growth” – one of the most debated and divisive policies continues to be the government’s proposed changes to superannuation.
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