Most SMSF trustees know that when they start drawing a pension from their fund everything becomes tax free right? Wrong. Like all things super and tax related it is never that easy. In this article we will review the circumstances where an actuarial certificate is required.
What is an actuarial certificate?
An actuarial certificate determines the percentage of income that will be exempt from tax for a SMSF for a given year. The certificate needs to be prepared by an appropriately qualified actuary, with the average cost of the annual certificate at $220 where the SMSF has account-based pensions (more for life time complying pensions). The actuary needs to be provided with a significant amount of information to calculate the applicable percentage – including details of every single pension payment and every contribution made to the SMSF during the year. The percentage generated by the actuarial certificate is multiplied by the taxable income of the fund (excluding contributions) to generate an amount which is claimed as a deduction –
Yesterday the treasury released the Mid-Year Economic and Fiscal Outlook or ‘MYEFO’ and there are a couple of key changes which impact superannuation and SMSFs.
From a SMSF perspective, the announcements were predominantly good news, especially in regards to the taxation consequences for superannuation funds (including SMSFs) when a member of the fund dies.
Interest rates have been cut five times in the last twelve months and while the news headlines seem to be full of joy when rate cuts are announced by the Reserve Bank, investors with secure term deposits are hurting.
In this article I will look at some alternatives for investors seeking an income return from their portfolios.
Keep in mind that these comments are general in nature only, and should in no way be used as personal investment advice without consulting a professional adviser.
Anyone who has a SMSF knows they create a huge amount of paperwork each year. After the end of the financial year when the accounts, SMSF tax return and audit are finalised, accountants – including Superfund Partners – will print a large number of reports, minutes and other documents to be signed by the trustees. This procedure is relatively standardised and has been the same for many years.
What you probably don’t know is that the overwhelming majority of accountants will scan the signed accounts, tax returns and minutes into their system, archive them electronically, and destroy the originals. There are definitely advantages to having a document physically in your hands, but you have to wonder: Is there a more efficient way to get the job done?
I believe there is a better way to sign you SMSF documents – use an electronic signature.
If you enjoy running around from bank to bank hunting for the best term deposit rates, filling out a multitude of application forms and completing repetitive 100 point identification checks for your SMSF then stop reading.
However, if you want a solution where you can complete a single application form which gives you access to more than 25 banks, building societies and credit unions with competitive interest rates including daily specials – then read on!
We are pleased to announce that all of the major banks (Westpac, ANZ, CBA and NAB) now provide daily transactions information directly into our specialist SMSF accounting software. The new direct service replaces the previous monthly supply of transaction information we received via and intermediary.
Superfund Partners is always looking at ways to remove the hard work out of running a SMSF. That is why we have developed a new system to enable us to receive share trading information from an additional 24 brokers.
Together with the 12 existing brokers that already provide daily share trading transaction information, Superfund Partners now receives trading information from more sources than any other SMSF administrator.
Effective from the 1st of February 2012, the Australian Government guarantee on deposits reduces from $1 million to $250,000 per customer per institution. This will have a large impact on a number of SMSF trustees who have been holding a large portion of their portfolios in cash and term deposits in the face of continued market volatility over the last few years.