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November 20, 2018

SMSF trustee investment strategy checklist

SMSF trustees have the freedom to invest as they choose to grow their retirement savings, which is why it is vital that they check in on their investment strategy regularly. Maximising your retirement nest egg depends on how well your investment strategy functions at different phases in your working life. This is why your investment strategy should shift according to your changing financial circumstances. A new job, fluctuating markets, changes in tax laws or your retirement drawing closer may mean it’s time to switch up your investments.

Here is a checklist to get you started.

ATO provisions for mental health

Small business owners suffering from mental health issues can seek the ATO’s help in meeting their taxation and super commitments.

If you are going through tough times take advantage of ATO services that will help keep your finances in check.

Get in contact with the ATO
Get in touch with the ATO as soon as you realise your mental health is impacting your ability to keep track of your tax. An ATO official can assess your circumstances, advise you on your options and help come up with a solution. The ATO offers an after-hours web chat and an after-hours call back service to get you the help you need. If you wish to talk over the phone, book in a time by completing the ATO’s online form. You may also have a person speak on your behalf provided you have authorised them as a nominated representative and verified their identity.

Support options
Once you have contacted the ATO, there are several options you can choose from to make it easier to stay up to date at tax time:

November 8, 2018

Trustee reporting obligations checklist

Trustees must comply with reporting obligations to avoid penalties from the ATO.

The following trustee reporting checklist to make sure you are stress-free at tax-time.

Trustees must:

Record keeping for small businesses

Businesses that fail to keep accurate records may struggle to remain compliant at tax time and incur financial penalties from the ATO.

Follow the ATO’s record keeping guidelines to stay organised.

Basic organisation tips:

Financial tips:

October 30, 2018

A checklist for setting up your SMSF

Setting up an SMSF can be complex, which is why a checklist is useful to streamline your process. Before you set up your SMSF, first determine if having an SMSF is a commercially viable option.

Once a decision is reached and you are about to start your SMSF, here are the basic steps to get things started:.

Tax implications of a business restructure

Tax exemptions may apply to small businesses going through a restructure provided they meet certain criteria.

Typically when a business is sold, you would have to pay income tax due to transferring assets. However, when a business is restructuring, the ownership of assets remains unchanged, and there is instead a rollover. This allows you to transfer assets as a part of the restructure without having to pay income tax on that transfer.

Your business may be eligible for the small business restructure rollover provided that:

The commissioner’s remedial power has repealed laws that incurred tax consequences on depreciating assets during a business restructure. When transferring depreciating assets, like cars during a business restructure, the commissioner’s remedial power will automatically apply, and there is nothing different you need to do to qualify for this tax exemption.

October 26, 2018

ATO update: Check for $17.5 billion in lost super

The ATO’s new data revealed that although the total amount of lost and unclaimed super reduced by $420 million in 2017-2018, there is still $17.5 billion left to be found.

The ATO has prioritised reuniting people with their lost super spread across over 6.2 million accounts. In the past financial year, the ATO was successful in merging $3 billion into active super accounts across the country.

Typically people lose contact with their super funds when they change jobs, move house or forget to update their details. Although some people may intentionally maintain multiple accounts, those who are unaware they have an inactive account may not realise that fees are possibly eroding their super. You should remain engaged with your super fund throughout all stages of your career so you can maximise your retirement nest egg.

You can view your super account details, including lost or forgotten accounts, by linking your myGov account to ATO online services. If you are unsure whether consolidating your super is the best option your super fund can advise you on issues such as insurance that may be attached to your accounts.

When can the ATO issue a default assessment for overdue lodgements

A default assessment is an assessment of taxable income for overdue tax returns or the net amount or assessable amount-for late activity statements. Although the ATO’s preferred approach is to work with taxpayers to help them meet their lodgement obligations, a default assessment will be issued if this collaborative approach fails.

Penalty
The administrative penalty of 75% of the tax-related liability will be applied for each default assessment issued by the ATO. The penalty increases by 20% for taxpayers who have a pattern of non-compliance and the ATO may also apply for another penalty for failing to lodge on time.

Assessment notice warnings
A warning letter will be sent by the ATO including the details of the default assessment and the date the overdue obligation needs to be lodged by to avoid a default assessment. If you do not receive notice of your default assessment, it will be if there is a risk of:

What you should do if you receive a warning letter
If you receive a warning letter, ensure all overdue obligations are lodged by the date advised in the warning letter. If you are a tax agent, notify your client, immediately, remove the client from your client list if you no longer represent the taxpayer and provide new contact details of the client to the ATO if you possess them.

October 19, 2018

Event-based reporting framework for SMSFs

The event-based reporting (EBR) framework for self-managed super funds (SMSFs) commenced on 1 July 2018. The initiative allows for the administration of the Transfer balance cap (TBC). Under the EBR framework, you need to report to the ATO, when the first member of your SMSF begins a retirement phase income stream.

The SMSF annual return is to be kept separate from the transfer balance account report. The TBAR enables the ATO to record and track an individual’s balance for their TBC and superannuation balance.

The ATO does not provide ‘special circumstances’ discretion for contraventions of the TBC which is why SMSF trustees and members self-monitor to ensure that members do not exceed their TBC.

Events to report
Your SMSF must report events affecting a member’s transfer balance including:

Exclusions

ATO reminder: fuel tax credit rates have increased

Fuel tax credit rates have increased on 1 August. The ATO reminds you to use the new rates to calculate claims on your next business activity statement (BAS).

How to simplify fuel tax credit claims
If you claim less than $10,000 in fuel tax credits each year, you can use the ATO’s simplified methods to keep records and calculate your claims. Keep in mind the following tips:

Simplified record keeping strategies
Use the following records to substantiate claims of less than $10,000 per year:

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