Basics about Super – EOFY – End of Financial Year – Last Days – Checklist!!

Basics about Super – EOFY – End of Financial Year – last days – Checklist!!

Basics about Super – EOFY – End of Financial Year – last days – Checklist!!

Time is running out – only days left to the End of Financial Year (EOFY), it’s time to have a review to ensure all is in order and all ACTIONs taken by 30 June deadline, as well as papers documenting all transactions during the year are in hand and ready for auditor and accountant verification later.

Here is a recap of our post last month, with an extra notice about cut off dates (item 1 below) for end of year steps to consider –

1.     Super Fund Contributions cut-off datessome large commercial super funds are requiring contributions in THIS WEEK! It is to allow processing in time with this busy end of year period – act fast if you want to claim super by 30 June!

2.     Contribution Caps

The concessional contribution (tax deductible / employer) cap for 1 July 2017 is $25,000 for ALL individuals, regardless of age (earlier years were higher). Take care – if you have more than one fund, ALL concessional contributions made to ALL your funds are added together and counted towards the cap. MORE HERE

3.     Minimum Pension taken

If there are members in the pension phase, ensure they have received the required minimum pension amount by 30 June. Failure can result in the investment income derived from your assets supporting that pension no longer being exempt from tax and other penalties could apply. MORE HERE

4.     Claim Tax Deductions for Personal Contributions (Non-Concessional)

If you are claiming a tax deduction for your superannuation contributions, make sure you are eligible to claim the tax deduction – seek advice if you’re unsure. An error in over-contributing or claiming a tax deduction for personal superannuation contributions could have excess tax consequences.

5.     Off-Market Transfers

You are still eligible to conduct in specie contributions of shares to your fund. Listed stock held in your personal name can be transferred to your fund as non-concessional or concessional contributions (if eligible) to your SMSF. Consideration should be given to capital gains tax, contribution caps and the off market transfer procedures.

6.     Government Co-Contribution

Remember to take advantage of the Government co-contribution by making a non-concessional (after tax) super contribution before the end of the financial year. For every dollar of eligible contributions, the Government contributes 50 cents to your superannuation up to a maximum government co-contribution of $500. The maximum government co-contribution (scaled as income rises) is payable is for income between $36,813 to max $51,813 (2017/18)  See Co-Contribution

7.     Investment Strategy was followed

Review your investment strategy and ensure all investments have been made in accordance with it, and the SMSF trust deed. Also, make sure your investment strategy has been updated to include consideration of insurances for members.

8.     Insurance Policies

From 1 July 2014, new rules come into effect that will prohibit superannuation fund trustees from providing an “insured benefit” in relation to a member unless the insured event is entirely consistent with a superannuation condition of release. This means that trauma policies and own occupation Total and Permanent Disability (TPD) policies will not be permitted. However, it is important to note these new rules will not apply to policies taken out prior to 1 July 2014.

9.     In-House Assets

If your fund has any investments in in-house assets you must make sure that at all times the market value of these investments is less than 5% of the value of the fund. Do not take this rule lightly as the new SMSF penalty powers will make it easier for the ATO to apply administrative penalties (fines) for smaller misdemeanors ranging from $820 to $10,200 per breach, per trustee!

Want to learn more, know the options and what we need to retire on, the super system in Australia and what is self-managed super? To get the answers, see our FREE slides Super & SMSF for Business owners.

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CASE STUDY – Tradie and Animal Carer Wanted Peace of Mind

CASE STUDY – Tradie and Animal Carer Wanted Peace of Mind

Tradie and Animal Carer Wanted Peace of Mind

Phillip was a tradie running his own business, and his wife was an animal carer, but they need to build for retirement, and their plan was to be able to take control of their super and aim to retire early.

(There are 5 easy steps to planning anything – start where you are at, decide what lifestyle you want to have, what that lifestyle state/position will cost in money (to maintain or the living costs), what you need invested to meet that cost of having what you want, and what action we need to take now to get there. (Get the FREE Resource: 5 Easy Steps to Plan your Retirement).

1.   WHERE they were at – Phillip and Lyn worked hard and kept busy. They didn’t have children.

2.   WANT to have – The aim was to be self-sufficient and comfortable in retirement, hopefully without Government support.

3.   COST of that lifestyle Estimated in today’s values, the annual income to retire that she desired would be at least $80,000 in today’s money. That would be well over the ASFA definition of “Comfortable” and allow meals out and even occasional trips overseas.

4.   NEEDHow much you need invested to cover the income requiredTo be safe, if a conservative investment return of 5% is used, (one 20th of 100%) this means at least 20 times the income goal – which rounds to approx. $1,600,000 of income-producing assets other than the family home.

5.   NOW what to do After meeting their advisor who explained the Pros and Cons of SMSF, then met with Paul, the Administration Manager, at SuperBenefit who supplied FAQ sheets, a Checklist of what was required, and a detailed list of what would be included in the service. Once the Trust Deed was prepared and executed, bank account formed and applications to superfunds signed, it was a simple matter to start organising the investments.

What was liked best of all – that the SuperBenefit Programme made it easy – SuperBenefit manages compliance from the  annual documents, storage of records electronically and additionally, has a CONNECT-ASSIST service which provides co-ordination as well as help – with who to talk to for advice and any other help besides the financial advisor.

There was other value in our property investment specialists and private-client share broker, who can supply a list twice a year (after the Australian company reporting seasons) summarising financial data on companies with strong financial health that are likely to perform well. 

Shares would be the main investment.

There is also peace of mind because any queries or compliance issues, could simply be given to the SuperBenefit administrator, who would CONNECT them to the right advisors as required (Connect/Assist Service).

The advisors had put these components in place –

StrategyTo take control of the retirement plan, and build their super

Structure Use an SMSF and the SuperBenefit Programme administration

Support With resources and all compliance taken care of by SuperBenefit, as well as a team of specialist professionals, that the SMSF Connect/Assist service provides, working with the client advisors in unison.

Note – This is a simplified summary of one client – it is not to be taken as advice, as your specific circumstances are not considered – we recommend asking for a consultation and/or seeking further professional advice with our recommended advisors or your own advisor.

Got questions? If you want experts who have years of helping others, without the hype – then call for a FREE strategy session today and also get your FREE Expert Guide – Self-Managed Super and Youtop right hand side above.

If you have any questions, why not give us a call – it’s FREE also! No obligation.

0407 361 596, Paul.

SB Programme educates and coaches you in connection with all the key SMSF admin issues. Where “advice” becomes necessary, we can refer you to a financial advisor. Or alternatively if you have your own financial advisor, please talk with them. 

This is a simplified overview and does not constitute advice, nor consider your circumstances, and should not be solely relied upon.

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MASTERCLASS Investment – End of Year Investment Strategies – Tips to set up for the end of Financial Year

MASTERCLASS Investment – End of Year Investment Strategies – Tips to set up for the end of Financial Year

Investment – End of Year Investment Strategies – Tips to set up for the end of Financial Year

Preparing for the end of year is an important stage as an investor.

Here are a selection of tips for end of year investment strategies to set up well for the end of financial year.

1. Consider how your investments are structured

When purchasing an investment, it is important to get advice and consider how the investment is owned. Common structures include individual ownership and joint ownership, however structures such as Super, discretionary (family) Trusts and Companies are often miss-used or ignored. Consider – the type of investment, the expected return, the expected size of the investment and also the end goal of the investment before deciding on a structure, as how an investment is owned can have a big impact on how it is taxed both now and into the future.

2. Capital Gains review

If you have made a capital gain, you may be able to reduce how much CGT you will have to pay (or more precisely, how much tax you have to pay for the entire year) by making concessional contributions. For example, if you have made a capital gain of $50,000 (reduced to $25,000 for assets held longer than a year for individuals), then a concessional contribution (CC) will generally reduce your taxable income and might allow you to pay less tax on your capital gain, particularly if it impacts on your marginal tax rate. But, in any case, a $10,000 CC could save your tax return of up $4700, while you’ll pay a maximum of 23.5% on the capital gain itself.

3. Capital gains tax relief in pension mode in SMSF

If you had more than $1.6m in pension or transition-to-retirement pension on 30/6/17, then you were able to potentially take advantage of the CGT relief provisions when selling down assets to meet the Cap., to soften the blow of the new transfer benefit cap (TBC), of $1.6m.

Those decisions need to be made soon, if they have not been made yet, before 30 June.

NOTE – The action required is rarely portfolio-wide, but should be made asset by asset. There will be assets in most portfolios where you want to apply for the CGT relief, while other assets (potentially, where you’re sitting on losses) where you don’t want the CGT relief, so that you can use a future CGT loss to offset other gains.

It is a complex decision-making process, which might go down to evaluating each parcel of a particular share that you bought over an extended period. Don’t leave this complex work until too close to the deadline – sit down with your adviser and/or accountant to work through this process, sooner rather than later.

4. Bring-forward deductions

Bringing forward deductions is a great way to reduce your tax liability for the current financial year. Examples of this are investment subscriptions, pre-paying interest payments on investment loans or paying an annual premium payment for your Income Protection cover.

You could also consider disposing of investments that have experienced a capital loss and do not fit in your portfolio anymore. This loss can be used to offset any capital gains you have realised this financial year.

5. Defer taxable income

If possible, deferring income until after the 1st of July can be a useful strategy. This could involve delaying the sale of an asset or considering when fixed term investments will mature.

6. Property Investments

(a) Interest that is part private – best to have a separate loan for the investment

(b) Conveyancing and purchase costs are not deductible, they are part of the cost base for capital gains tax purposes.

(c) Do minor repairs that can be immediately written off before they become major and possible capital repairs and need to be depreciated – eg we had a tap that come loose at the based, and a small water leak had developed under the sink. The water travelled to the downstairs study, and took weeks to show by a small stain in the roof plaster in the study. The tenant took weeks to tell us. We thought it was the shower in the ensuite directly above, but the plumber later found it was the powder room sink tap! Renovating the shower would costs several thousand – which was considered capital expense, fixing the tap, and roof plaster was directly deductable.

(d) Rental property visit costs – are no-longer claimable from 1/7/17 tax years onwards.

(e) Delay large item purchasing, as they are generally depreciated, not immediately deductible – new oven, hot water systems etc.

What are your Thoughts? Comment below!

Want to learn more, know the options and what we need to retire on, the super system in Australia and what is self-managed super? To get the answers, see our FREE slides Super & SMSF for Business owners.

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Basics about Super – Will your money last? What could living longer mean for your Retirement?

Basics about Super – Will your money last? What could living longer mean for your Retirement?

Basics about Super – Will your money last? What could living longer mean for your Retirement?

Will your money last?

As Australians are now on average living longer, superannuation needs to stretch even further to cover living expenses. Will your money last as long as you live?

You have a 50/50 chance of living as long as your life expectancy and in some cases, you may even exceed it.  So how do you make sure you have enough money stashed away to last a lifetime?

The Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC) has a useful guide that can assist you to estimate how long you will live, how much money you may need and how you can maximize your retirement planning to achieve your target.

Could your life expectancy be even longer?

Over the last century, life expectancies have improved. For example, based on the 2000-02 Life Tables, men at age 65 could expect to live five years longer than compared with the 1960-62 Life Tables. You should allow for the possibility that life expectancies will continue to improve. ASIC asked the Australian Government Actuary to come up with some estimates that take into account possible improvements in mortality rates. The figures shown in Table 1 are based on an assumption that mortality rates will continue to improve from 2000-02 at the same rate they improved over the preceding 25 years. Remember, on average, it is more likely that people at these ages will live beyond the life expectancies shown (if mortality rates behave in line with these assumptions).

Table 1 Life Expectancy

Note: These estimates take into account the falls in mortality rates that might be expected to have occurred already, together with further improvements that could be experienced over someone’s lifetime.

What are your chances of a ripe old age?

Of course, it’s all very well knowing that at typical retirement ages you have a better than 50/50 chance of living beyond your life expectancy, but you probably want to know what are the chances of living past that. For example, at what age is there a 10% chance that you’re still alive? You may be surprised by the figures in Table 2.

Table 2 Chance Living

Note: These are estimates, based on the same assumptions as Table 1. Particular assumptions about future mortality rates may not be borne out in practice, and should not be taken to be forecasts. So don’t be too quick to write off planning for your 100th birthday. Are you likely to be living alone without any children or other close relatives to look after you in your old age? You might want to have some extra money to pay for help at home or a place in your preferred aged care home. Just to be on the safe side, you might want to plan for the 10% chance that you’ll live past 100. You may want to consider other probabilities or survival in Table 3. (We do emphasise that these are estimates, not certainties.)

Table 3 Estim Survival

Note: These are estimates, based on the same assumptions as Table 1. Particular assumptions about future mortality rates may not be borne out in practice, and should not be taken to be forecasts.

To find out if your money is likely to last as long as you do, visit www.moneysmart.gov.au

What does this mean for your retirement plans?

ASIC hopes you’ve now taken on a new lease on life, and are looking forward to living longer and healthier. If you’re concerned about how you’ll support yourself, review your retirement plans, and consider these possibilities:

Sources:

https://www.moneysmart.gov.au

www.aboutseniors.com.au

http://www.superannuation.asn.au/

what's the plan for retirement

Simple steps to TAKE ACTION:

  • Talk with your financial advisor and tax agent;
  • A plan of action is better than NO action;
  • Strategy – to become a controller of your wealth;
  • Structure – maybe a Self-Managed Super fund (SMSF) is the answer; and
  • Support – a service to handle all the set up and compliance such as SuperBenefit.

BONUS tool – Try this simple one-page free tool at 

5 Easy Steps To Plan Your Retirement

SuperBenefit works with SMSF trustees to CONNECT them with the advisors they need

A call is FREE

If you have any questions, why not give us a call – it’s FREE! No obligation.

0407 361 596, Paul

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Masterclass SMSF – End of year checklist – Set up for the end of financial year (SMSF)

Masterclass SMSF – End of year checklist – Set up for the end of financial year (SMSF)

SMSF – End of year checklist – Set up for the end of financial year (SMSF)

Now there are a few weeks to the End of Financial Year (EOFY) left, it’s time to have a review to ensure all is in order and all ACTIONS taken by 30 June deadline, as well as papers documenting all transactions during the year are in hand and ready for auditor and accountant verification later. Here is an end of year checklist to consider –

1.     Contribution Caps

The concessional contribution (tax deductible / employer) cap for 1 July 2017 is $25,000 for ALL individuals, regardless of age (earlier years were higher). Take care – if you have more than one fund, ALL concessional contributions made to ALL your funds are added together and counted towards the cap. MORE HERE

2.     Minimum Pension taken

If there are members in the pension phase, ensure they have received the required minimum pension amount by 30 June. Failure can result in the investment income derived from your assets supporting that pension no longer being exempt from tax and other penalties could apply. MORE HERE

3.     Claim Tax Deductions for Personal Contributions (Non-Concessional)

If you are claiming a tax deduction for your superannuation contributions, make sure you are eligible to claim the tax deduction – seek advice if you’re unsure. An error in over-contributing or claiming a tax deduction for personal superannuation contributions could have excess tax consequences.

4.     Off-Market Transfers

You are still eligible to conduct in specie contributions of shares to your fund. Listed stock held in your personal name can be transferred to your fund as non-concessional or concessional contributions (if eligible) to your SMSF. Consideration should be given to capital gains tax, contribution caps and the off market transfer procedures.

5.     Government Co-Contribution

Remember to take advantage of the Government co-contribution by making a non-concessional (after tax) super contribution before the end of the financial year. For every dollar of eligible contributions, the Government contributes 50 cents to your superannuation up to a maximum government co-contribution of $500. The maximum government co-contribution (scaled as income rises) is payable is for income between $36,813 to max $51,813 (2017/18)  See Co-Contribution

6.     Investment Strategy was followed

Review your investment strategy and ensure all investments have been made in accordance with it, and the SMSF trust deed. Also, make sure your investment strategy has been updated to include consideration of insurances for members.

7.     Insurance Policies

From 1 July 2014, new rules come into effect that will prohibit superannuation fund trustees from providing an “insured benefit” in relation to a member unless the insured event is entirely consistent with a superannuation condition of release. This means that trauma policies and own occupation Total and Permanent Disability (TPD) policies will not be permitted. However, it is important to note these new rules will not apply to policies taken out prior to 1 July 2014.

8.     In-House Assets

If your fund has any investments in in-house assets you must make sure that at all times the market value of these investments is less than 5% of the value of the fund. Do not take this rule lightly as the new SMSF penalty powers will make it easier for the ATO to apply administrative penalties (fines) for smaller misdemeanors ranging from $820 to $10,200 per breach, per trustee!

See the slides SMSF Roadmap Overview.

If you want experts who have years of helping others, without the hype – then call for a FREE strategy session today and see how our Super-Connector Service assists you to find the right expert to answer your question – it’s FREE also!

No obligation. 0407 361 596, Paul.

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NEWS – Possible reduction in Annual auditing for SMSFs? – Budget 2018

NEWS – Possible reduction in Annual auditing for SMSFs? – Budget 2018

Possible reduction in Annual auditing for SMSFs? – Budget 2018

Business editor, Ian Verrender of ABC News online, allerted us to a less-known Budget proposal, to reduce SMSF annual auditing requirements. He writes –

The details are sparse, the mention brief. But there at the top of page 41 in budget paper number two it sits.

“The Government will change the annual audit requirement to a three-yearly requirement for self-managed superannuation funds with a history of good record keeping and compliance,” it states.

According to the budget papers, it’s all about reducing red tape for the trustees of self-managed funds.

A seemingly minor detail among hundreds of pages dripping with billion-dollar policy shifts, it was a change that escaped the army of commentators assembled in Parliament House last Tuesday to grill Treasurer Scott Morrison on the details of his third federal budget.

It was an odd decision for two reasons. For a start, big, professionally run funds still must be audited every year.

The tax trap

Large, professionally run superannuation funds are overseen by the banking regulator, the Australian Prudential Regulatory Authority.

Self-managed funds, by contrast, are regulated by the Australian Tax Office. While many funds outsource the administration, the fund trustees — usually the beneficiaries — make the investment decisions.

Until now, self-managed funds have been required to have their affairs audited by an independent auditor. It’s not just for financial transactions. The audit also monitors compliance issues.

Given the enormous tax concessions superannuation enjoys, independent auditors have been required to ensure beneficiaries or trustees are not attempting to game the system, to ensure the government isn’t being dudded on tax.

With audits required in only one in three years, some self-managed retirees could succumb to the temptation to manipulate asset values or not properly record cash injections so they stay under the cap and avoid tax.

Those yet to retire may be tempted to withdraw funds temporarily for personal use and repay the cash before the third year when the audit is done.

Retirees at risk

There’s also the potential for self-managed retirees to become prey to an industry that has rewritten the definition of scandal.

In 2009, thousands of self-managed super funds were fleeced by Trio Capital which collapsed owing $176 million, after cash was funnelled offshore. Financial advisers from Wollongong to Port Augusta tipped around 6,000 super fund trustees into the Astarra Capital fund.

While APRA-regulated funds — bank, industry and government funds — cover anyone who has suffered a loss from fraud or theft via levy that is imposed on the funds, no such protection exists for self-managed funds.

A joint parliamentary inquiry into the Trio collapse in 2012 reinforced that distinction. While the government forked out $55 million to those who lost out through APRA-monitored funds, it recommended self-managed super investors receive nothing.

Given the litany of atrocities within the financial services industry, and its scant disregard for its own clients, it seems odd to be scaling back oversight of almost a third of Australia’s $2.6 trillion superannuation industry.

A little bit of red tape can go a long way.

Interested to know what self-managed super (SMSF) is all about, and if it is for you?

See the slides SMSF Roadmap Overview.

If you want experts who have years of helping others, without the hype – then call for a FREE strategy session today and see how our Super-Connector Service assists you to find the right expert to answer your question – it’s FREE also!

No obligation. 0407 361 596, Paul.

Also get your FREE Expert Guide – Self-Managed Super and YouTop right hand side above.

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NEWS – Australian Federal Budget 2018 highlights

NEWS –Australian Federal Budget 2018 highlights

Australian Federal Budget 2018 highlights

Here is a summary of the Budget offered this week –

Here’s a quick guide to what’s been announced – and finally some good news for Super!

Superannuation will give you less headaches

Do you have superannuation payments sitting in multiple accounts? If you do, the Australian Tax Office will be given powers to find it for you and send it to your active account.

They’ll also ban exit fees. That means superannuation providers won’t be able charge you when you want to move to a better provider.

If you’re young or not earning a lot of money, superannuation companies won’t be able to force you to pay life insurance policies if you don’t want them.

You’re getting a tax cut

This will be done in three ways over seven years.

The first is simple but be patient — you won’t get it until your tax return next year. If you’re a low or middle-income earner, you can expect up to $530 a year — or just over $10 a week.

The second is a tweak to tax brackets. Right now, you pay more when your salary goes north of $87,000. That’s going to change. You won’t start paying more until you earn $90,000.

The last is more drastic — a flattening of the tax system. By 2024, everyone earning between $41,000 and $200,000 will pay 32.5 per cent tax. That means a big tax cut for those earning more than $90,000 who would have paid 37 per cent, but it’s a long way down the track.

Plenty can happen in one year of politics — let alone seven years — so there’s no guarantee Mr Morrison’s sweeping vision will become a reality.

But what about that surplus?

If all goes to plan, the budget will return to surplus a year earlier than planned in 2019-20. But it will only be $2.2 billion in the black — just 0.1 per cent of GDP — so a small change in fortunes and it’s gone.

The surplus for the year after will be bigger than expected — $16.6 billion — but again that’s all subject to Treasury forecasting.

More on how the Government’s going to pay for all this a bit later.

Aged care is a big focus of this budget

The Government wants more older Australians to get care at home. About 14,000 more people will get home care packages at a cost of $1.6 billion over four years.

A new commissioner responsible for safety and quality care will get a $253 million kickstart over four years. Mental health services in aged care homes will also be bolstered.

More than $30 million will go towards improving palliative care, provided state governments also chip in a similar amount of money.

Prepare for roadworks

As expected, the Government is spending big on roads and rail. There’s $24.5 billion for new projects to ease congestion. Most money is going to Victoria including the biggest item; $5 billion for a rail line to Melbourne airport.

But there is a political fight ahead — for many of the bigger projects, the Commonwealth wants the states to pitch in half the money. If they don’t, those projects won’t go ahead without a battle.

The Coalition wants more doctors in rural areas

There’s money for five new medical schools in the Murray-Darling region so students can complete the majority of their training in the regions.

There will also be a new junior doctor training program and money for another 100 vocational training places.

The Royal Flying Doctor Service will pick up $84 million in funding and for the first time, it will deliver dental and mental health services.

The number of visas set aside for international doctors to help ease a shortage has been revised down, thanks to increasing graduate numbers.

Don’t worry … there’re no nasties to pay for those tax cuts

So how are they paying for it?

The Government is going after illicit tobacco sales in a bid to reclaim $3.6 billion over four years.

The so-called Black Economy Taskforce will target sectors known to avoid paying tax, which should reclaim about $5.3 billion over four years.

It’ll also crack down on money laundering, so payments of more than $10,000 will now become illegal.

Selected parts, based on ABC, 9 May 2018.

What are your Thoughts? Comment below!

Want to know the options and what we need to retire on, the super system in Australia and what is self-managed super? See our FREE slides Super & SMSF for Business owners

Call for FREE education, or to speak to an advisor about your specific situation. SuperBenefit works with SMSF trustees to CONNECT them with the advisors they need.

A call is Free. No obligation. 0407 361 596, Paul

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