Self managed super funds
Take control of your super.
The SMSF is the fastest growing area in the accounting industry. This is due to people taking back control of where their retirement savings are invested as well as the change in rules which allow SMSF’s to ‘borrow’ to acquire property or shares.
We have the necessary expertise and systems to ensure your fund remains compliant whilst ensuring we are maximising the tax benefits of your SMSF.
What is a self-managed super fund (SMSF)
An SMSF is a private superannuation fund, regulated by the Australian Taxation Office (ATO), that you manage yourself. SMSFs can have up to four members. All members must be trustees (or directors if there is a corporate trustee) and are responsible for decisions made about the fund and compliance with relevant laws. Set up costs and annual running expenses can be high, so you’ll need a large balance to make the fund cost-effective.
An SMSF is a legal tax structure with the sole purpose of providing for your retirement. SMSFs operate under similar rules and restrictions as ordinary super funds.
When you run your own SMSF you must:
- Carry out the role of trustee or director, which imposes important legal obligations on you
- Set and follow an investment strategy that is appropriate for your risk tolerance and is likely to meet your retirement needs
- Have the financial experience and skills to make sound investment decisions
- Have enough time to research investments and manage the fund
- Budget for ongoing expenses such as professional accounting, tax, audit, legal and financial advice
- Keep comprehensive records and arrange an annual audit by an approved SMSF auditor
- Organise insurance, including income protection and total and permanent disability cover for super fund members
- Use the money only to provide retirement benefits.
If you decide to set up an SMSF, you are personally liable for all the decisions made by the fund – even if you get help from a professional or another member makes the decision.
Having access to a broader range of investments is often cited as a reason for starting an SMSF. Through a self-managed super fund, you can invest in the usual investments such as shares, term deposits, managed funds, and property. You can also hold alternative assets such as antiques and artwork in a self-managed super fund.
The ability to choose your own shares may have been a driver for setting up an SMSF, but unless you have a lot of money to invest, you are unlikely to be as diversified as a fund manager, who has the advantage of using pooled funds to buy a broad range of shares.
Some people use their SMSF to invest in property.
Many SMSFs hold collectibles such as artwork, jewelry, antiques, coins, stamps, vintage cars, and wine. There are very strict rules on holding these assets in your self-managed super fund.
These assets, when held within an SMSF, must be insured and they cannot provide a present-day benefit. This means that artwork cannot be displayed in your home or business, you cannot drive a vintage car, and you cannot wear jewelry or drink the wine.
For more information, see the ATOs webpage on collectibles and personal use assets.
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