News

Is Labor’s Trust Tax Relevant to SMSFs?

There's been some media coverage in recent days about the effect that Labor's tax proposal for discretionary trusts will have on SMSFs given that "SMSFs are commonly invested in discretionary trusts". This surprised me as SMSFs never invest in discretionary trusts. They only invest in fixed, or unit, trusts and these aren't included in Labor's proposal....

6 Members from 1 July?

The increase in the SMSF member limit from 4 to 6 from 1 July will require either the return of the government at the next federal election or the introduction and passing of the enabling legislation in the few days that Parliament will sit before the election. Notwithstanding their superior economic credentials, the government has been working...

Valuation at Audit Time

The ATO has reminded SMSF auditors about their professional obligations when verifying asset values in financial statements. This follows two recent Supreme Court decisions in which SMSF auditors were held to have breached their duty of care when auditing SMSFs which later suffered investment losses. In Cam & Bear Pty Ltd v McGoldrick [2018] NSWCA 110 (reported...

More Responsibility for Advisers due to Pension Changes!

The new pension rules, combined with the ATO’s revised treatment of some existing practices surrounding exempt current pension income seem to increase the workload of actuaries. This is not so. The increased workload has fallen onto administrators and advisers. There are two methods of calculating exempt current pension income (ECPI); 1. Segregated – where all the fund is...

Can We Expect an Increase in Audit Fees?

Two recent court decisions may well herald a rise in SMSF audit fees. It has long been understood that SMSF trustees should take responsibility for their own investment decisions. There have been claims against advisers and lawyers for inappropriate advice, but auditors have been relatively unscathed – until now. In both cases the trustees willingly entered into...

6 Member SMSFs – Who Cares?

The move to 6 member SMSFs, presumably from 1 July 2019, has been largely regarded as a who-cares moment by SMSF advisers given that four members are already permitted but almost all current SMSFs contain only one or two members. If Labor wins the next election and removes franking credit refunds I predict there will be...

This is what an Excess TBA Determination looks like

In case you haven’t yet seen an excess transfer balance determination you might be interested in the details of one that I’ve been given from an SMSF client who has just transferred his administration to us as a result. His previous accountant had not reduced his pension account to $1.6m as at 1/7/2017. Instead, his $2,876,913 pension...

Aussiegolfa Continues

Breaching the sole purpose test is one of the most serious SMSF trustee transgressions. The ATO have always regarded both the motivation and purpose of an investment as relevant to this consideration. The Full Federal Court decision in the Aussiegolfa case splits the motivation from the purpose and confirms that arrangements that are on arm’s length...