Source Accounting is your SMSF Specialist. We have over 16 years experience working with self-managed superannuation funds. In particular, we assist SMSF trustees with the day-to-day management of their SMSF.
Setting up your own self-managed superannuation funds is one of the most important financial decisions that you will make in your lifetime. There are many reasons for setting up an SMSF, one of the most popular reason in Australia is for SMSF Trustees to purchase direct property.
Australian’s seem to have a long standing love affair with property investment. It is so attractive because it is tangible. Property investors can track the pattern of growth year on year.
With soaring house prices in Australia, an SMSF may become the only way for Australians to enter into the property market in the future. The ability to own investment properties via a SMSF makes them one of the most preferred vehicles to build wealth and save for retirement.
A bit about SMSF’s
The trustees of the SMSF ultimately control the fund, but they do not have absolute ownership of the assets contained within the SMSF. The members’ balances belong to the members, however, they cannot use the assets of the SMSF, or benefit from them from a financial point of view, until they meet a condition of release – which is usually retirement.
The members of the SMSF have a proportional interest in the SMSF. Their interest is made up of rollovers that they make into the fund, contributions, and earnings from investments that their member account has an interest in.
SMSFs can have up to 4 members on the condition that all members must be trustees at all times.
An SMSF is entitled to concessional tax treatment if it elects to become a SMSF regulated by the Australian Taxation Office (ATO), and maintains its compliance status by following all of the rules that apply to an SMSF. The SMSF tax rate is currently a flat 15% on all income earned, other than capital gains. The capital gains tax on assets held within the SMSF for more than 12 months is set at a rate of 10%.
The Benefits of SMSFs:
An SMSF gives you total and absolute control over your super. As a trustee of the fund, you can choose where you wish to invest your superannuation balance.
In times of uncertainly and volatility, you may simply choose to retain your balance in cash-focused investments such as term deposits and high interest bearing accounts. In times of stability and certainty, you may wish to invest in growth investments, such as shares and property.
It’s your choice every step of the way.
An SMSF can be the most cost effective type of superannuation fund available in the market place. Annual fees can be fixed, regardless of the value of the fund or your superannuation balance. One may even say that the more your fund is worth, the lower the fees – as they are not determined by your account balance. However, in a retail or industry fund, fees are usually determined by your daily superannuation balance.
TWO ACCOUNTS FOR THE PRICE OF ONE
When you have your superannuation invested in a retail or industry fund, your benefit is invested separately if you are running an accumulation account and a pension account. This may mean that you are paying twice the amount of fees since you are charged fees on each separate account balance. This is particularly true if your accounts are managed in different types of investment profiles, including cash, balanced and high growth options.
With an SMSF, you can have multiple accounts within one structure, thereby keeping the costs down.
POOLING OF SUPERANNUATION BALANCES
In an SMSF, as you can have up to four members, you can combine your super with your family members or friends. This means that you can reduce fees as you are all contributing towards the cost of running the SMSF, and using your super effectively to own a share of a growing asset.
A classic example is that you may be able to afford to purchase a better property with your super because if you pool your balances, your level of affordability will improve.
CONSOLIDATION OF INVESTMENTS
An SMSF is permitted to purchase an SMSF from a related party. This asset includes any that are share listed on the Australian Stock Exchange, and properties used for business purposes. The purchase can be made via an in-specie contribution. This basically means that rather than have the SMSF pay for the investment, you can contribute the investment to the fund. Instead of taking money, you boost your account balance by way of a contribution.
The trustees of an SMSF can legally pass a member’s superannuation benefits to their dependent beneficiaries in the event of the member’s death, thereby allowing you to pass on the tax advantages of an SMSF.
TAX FREE STATUS
Once your account is in pension mode, you can enjoy a tax rate of 0% on your pension account balance, provided that the value of your pension account is under $1.6 million (from 1 July, 2017).
Any pension withdrawals that you make from your fund after age 60 are also tax free to you individually.
If you have made the decision to go ahead with your SMSF, you can order your SMSF establishment documents here: