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There has been much discussion about the dividend imputation system in recent weeks as the government and the opposition play political tennis with franking credits.
On 13th March, Opposition Leader Bill Shorten announced Labor’s plan to change the dividend imputation system if they win the next federal election. The changes would make franking credits non-refundable and, Labor claims, save the budget $59 billion over the decade to 2028-29.
The Australian Government finally had most of its 2016 budget measures on superannuation pass through Parliament on 23 November, following a tortuous process of negotiation with the cross-benches. Most of these changes to Australia’s superannuation system will take effect from 1 July 2017.
The Turnbull Government’s Federal Budget, delivered on 3rd May 2017, included the most significant structural changes to the Australian superannuation system since compulsory superannuation was first introduced. Pre-budget speculation had anticipated many changes, however some have gone much further than anticipated.
Running your own self-managed super fund (SMSF) can provide a great means of managing your retirement savings, with the potential for more control, greater choice and lower costs. In fact, more than one million Australians are now members of an SMSF.
The money put aside in your self-managed superannuation fund (SMSF) is, of course, intended to be kept to fund the retirement of you and your fellow fund members. The over-riding obligation of you as trustee is to adhere to this “sole purpose” test.
SuperStream is part of the Government’s Stronger Super initiative and introduces a more efficient method of sending superannuation payments and associated information in the superannuation system. Measures have been progressively coming into place since July 2014.
Do you understand when your self-managed superannuation fund (SMSF) can borrow and when it can’t?
Generally, SMSFs are not able to borrow to acquire assets. The rationale is that superannuation is meant to be a relatively conservative investment vehicle, and borrowing can put the fund at risk.
An Actuarial certificate is a statement provided by a qualified actuary to confirm the proportion of an self managed superannuation fund’s (SMSF) income that should be exempt from income tax. The tax treatment of a fund depends on whether it is in accumulation or pension phase, or a combination of both.
There will in all likelihood come a time when you will need to wind up your self-managed superannuation fund (SMSF).
It’s always a good idea to start by sitting down to read your trust deed, as it may contain vital information about winding up your fund. Remember, once a fund is wound up, it cannot be reactivated.