2013 The Year Ahead For SMSFs

Written on the 9 February 2013

Focus areas

With $458,451 million tied up in Self Managed Superannuation Funds (SMSFs), it is not surprising that the Tax Office takes an active interest in this area.  2013 will see an even greater focus on ensuring that the assets of superannuation funds are kept separate from their members until they retire.    There is a lot you can do with your superannuation and through a superannuation fund but you need to understand the rules. 

For SMSFs, property investment using Limited Recourse Borrowing is a major area of focus.  If the purchase of the property is not structured correctly, trustees may be forced to sell the asset. 

The value of assets contributed to superannuation is another area the Tax Office is sensitive about.  Earlier this year, the Tax Office released final valuation guidelines on how superannuation fund assets must be valued.  These guidelines require fund assets to be valued at market value and apply now.  In 2013, you can expect to see a greater focus and enforcement of these valuation rules.

Off market transfers

An off market transfer is when assets from a related party are transferred to or disposed of by a SMSF outside of the underlying market.  For example, when a trustee transfers shares directly to a SMSF - instead of the trustee disposing of the shares on the market and then the SMSF purchasing the shares.  A ban on off market transfers was due to come into effect on 1 July 2012 but delayed until 1 July 2013.  From this date, all acquisitions and disposals of assets between SMSFs and related parties must be conducted through that market, or if no market exists, must be supported by a valuation from a suitable qualified independent valuer.  The big question in 2013 is, when we see the final detail of the ban, what assets will be covered.


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