The Ultimate SMSF End of Financial Year Checklist 2020


 

OK, so here we are with only a few weeks left to the end of the financial year to get our SMSF in order and ensure we are making the most of the strategies available to us. Here is a checklist of the most important issues that you should address with your advisers before the year-end.

Its been a busy year and I have not had as much time as usual to put this together so if you find an error or have a strategy to add then please let me know. Links were working at the time of writing.

Warning before we begin,

Before we start, just a warning as in the rush to take advantage of new strategies you may have forgotten about how good you have it already Be careful not to allow your accountant, administrator or financial planner to reset any pension that has been grandfathered under the pension deeming rules that came in on Jan 1st 2015 without getting advice on the current and possible future consequences resulting in the pension being subject to current deeming rates if you lose the grandfathering. Point them to this document

  1. It’s all about timing!

If you are making a contribution the funds must hit the Superfund’s bank account by the close of business on the 30th June.  Careful of making contributions through Clearing houses as they often hold on to funds before presenting them to the individual’s superannuation fund for 7-30 days and it’s when the fund receives the payment that the contribution is counted except if paid via the government’s Small Business Clearing House. Pension payments must leave the account by the close of business unless paid by cheque in which case the cheques must be presented within a few days of the EOFY and there must have been sufficient funds in the bank account to support the payment of the cheques on June 30th. Get you payments in by Friday 26th or earlier to be sure (yes I’m Irish).

  1. Review Your Concessional Contributions options – 25K per year up to 65 this year but work test from 1 July 2020 will apply to 67.

 The big news is the government have changed the contribution rules from 1 July 2020 to extend the ability to make contributions from age 65 up to age 67. Read more here. Maximise contributions up to concessional contribution cap but do not exceed your Concession Limit. The sting has been taken out of Excess contributions tax but you don’t need additional paperwork to sort out the problem. So check employer contributions on normal pay and bonuses, salary sacrifice and premiums for insurance in super as they may all be included in the limit.

       3.   If your Super balance on 1 July 2019 was under $500,000 Review your previous Concessional Contributions (CC) and consider using the ‘Carry forward’ concessional contributions cap

 Broadly, the carry forward rule allows individuals to make additional CC in a financial year by utilising unused CC cap amounts from up to five previous financial years, providing their total superannuation balance just before the start of that financial year was less than $500,000.

This measure applies from 2018-19 so effectively, this means an individual can make up to $50,000 of CC in a single financial year by utilising unapplied unused CC caps since 1 July 2018 and going forward from up to five previous financial years.

Prior to these amendments, if an individual did not fully utilise their annual CC cap in a financial year, they could not carry forward the unused cap to a later year. But please note the balance refers to $500,000 across all of your Superannuation accounts.

 

  1. Review plans for Non-Concessional Contributions (NCC) options

From 1 July 2020 the new age limit of 67 will apply to Non-Concessional Contributions (NCC) without meeting the work test so you have the option of making $100,000 NCC per year up to turning 67.

Hopefully this month (tabled for 18th June 2020 sitting) the Parliament will also pass legislation allowing you to also use the “3 year bring forward rule” up to age 67.

So people who turned 64 0r 65 this year and who planned to use the “3 year bring forward rule” may want to review that strategy if they wish to get more money in to super

Current Option if turned 65 in 2019-20 FY: NCC of $100,000 or $300,000

Proposed Option: NCC $100,000 2019-20, NCC $100,000 2012-21, NCC $300,000 2021-22

Have you considered making non-concessional contributions to move investments in to super and out of your personal, company or trust name. Maybe you have proceeds from and inheritance or sale of a property sitting in cash.

As shares and cash have been hit by the Covod-19 crisis value you may find that it is opportune for personal tax reasons to take this time to move some assets to super may help control your tax bill.

 

  1. Co-Contribution

Check your eligibility for the co-contribution and if you are eligible take advantage. Note that the limits have changed and it is “free incentive money to save for your retirement” – grab it if you are eligible.

To calculate the super co-contribution you could be eligible to receive based on your income and personal super contributions, use the Super co-contribution calculator.

 

  1. Spouse Contribution

If your spouse has assessable income plus reportable fringe benefits totalling less than $37,000 for the full $540 tax offset and up to $40,000 for a partial offset, then consider making a spouse contribution. Check out the ATO guidance here

 

  1. Over 65 and soon up to 67? Do you meet the work test? (The 40 hours in any 30 days rule)

 You should review your ability to make contributions as if you if you have reached age 65 you must pass the work test of 40 hours in any 30 day period during the financial year, in order to continue to make contributions to super. Check out ATO superannuation contribution guidance . Keep an eye later this month for new of the age limit rising form 65 to 67 before needing to meet the work test from 1 July 2020.

 

  1. Check any payments you may have made on behalf of the fund.

It is important that you check for amounts that may form a superannuation contribution in accordance with TR 2010/1 (ask your advisor), such as expenses paid for on behalf of the fund, debt forgiveness or in-specie contributions, insurance premiums for cover via super paid from outside the fund.

 

  1. Notice of intent to claim a deduction for contributions

If you are planning on claiming a tax deduction for personal concessional contributions you must have a valid ‘notice of intent to claim or vary a deduction’ (NAT 71121).

If you intend to start a pension this notice must be made before you commence the pension. Many like to start pension in June and avoid having to take a minimum pension but make sure you have claimed your tax deduction first. The same applies if you plan to take a lump sum withdrawal from your fund. GET THE NOTICE OF INTENT IN FIRST

 

  1. Contributions Splitting to your spouse

Consider splitting contributions with your spouse, especially if:

  • your family has one main income earner with a substantially higher balance or
    • if there is an age difference where you can get funds into pension phase earlier or
    • If you can improve your eligibility for concession cards or age pension by retaining funds in superannuation in the younger spouse’s name.

This is a simple no-cost strategy I recommend everyone look at. See my blog about this strategy here.

 

  1. Off Market Share Transfers (selling shares from your own name to your fund)

If you want to move any personal shareholdings into super you should act early. The contract is only valid once the broker receives a fully valid transfer form not before so timing in June is critical.

 

  1. Pension Payments – so many more options this year 2019-2020 and in 2020-2021

If you are in pension phase, the government have brought in the Temporary Reduction in Minimum Pensions as part of the Covid-19 response. So please ensure you take the new minimum pension of at least 50% of your age-based rate below. For transition to retirement pensions, ensure you have not taken more than 10% of your opening account balance this financial year.

The following table shows the minimum percentage factor (indicative only) for each age group.
Minimum annual payments for super income streams for 2019/20 and 2020/21 Financial years.

Age at 1 July Standard 

Minimum % withdrawal 

50% reduced

minimum pension

Under 65 4% 2%
65–74 5% 2.5%
75–79 6% 3%
80–84 7%  3.5%
85–89 9% 4.5%
90–94 11% 5.5%
95 or older 14% 7%

 

FINER DETAILS with TIPS and TRAPS

Here is some of the finer detail on how these measures will work, along with some tips and traps to consider when taking withdrawals for the rest of this financial year and the full 2020-21 financial year:

The measures are forward looking so if a pension member has already taken your minimum pension for the year then they cannot change the payment for this year but they can get organised for 2020/21. So, no you can’t try to sneak a payment back in to the SMSF bank account!

If a pension member has already taken pensions payments of equal to or greater than the 50% reduced minimum amount, they are not required to take any further pension payments before 30 June 2020.  For example, many would have taken quarterly or half yearly payments. If they add up to the 50% reduced minimum then you do not need to take anymore payments this financial year.

If you still need your pension payments for living expenses but have already taken the 50% reduced minimum then, it may be a good strategy for amounts above the 50% reduced minimum to be treated as either:

  1. a partial lump commutation sum rather than as a pension payment. This would create a debit against the pension members transfer balance account (TBA).  Please discuss this with your accountant and adviser asap as some funds will have to report this quarterly and others on an annual basis. OR
  2. for those with both pension and accumulation accounts to take the excess as a lump sum from the accumulation account balance to preserve as much in tax exempt pension phase as possible going forward to future years.

See here for a worked example

 

  1. Sacrificial Lamb

Think about having a sacrificial lamb, a second lower value pension that can sacrificed if minimum not taken. In this way if you pay only a small amount less than the minimum you only have to lose the smaller pensions concession rather than the concession on your full balance. When combined with the ATO relief discussed in the following article “What-happens-if-i-don’t-take-the-minimum-pension” you will have a buffer for mistakes.

Before reading the above: Be careful not to reset a pension that has been grandfathered under the new deeming of pension rules that came in on Jan 1st 2015 without getting advice.

 

  1. Reversionary Pension is often the preferred option to pass funds to a spouse or dependent child. Review your options

A reversionary pension to you spouse will provide them with up to 12 months to get their financials affairs organised before having to make a final decision on how to manage your death benefit.

You should review your pension documentation and check if you have nominated a reversionary pension. If not, consider your family situation and options to have a reversionary pension.

This is especially important with blended families and children from previous marriages that may contest your current spouse’s rights to your assets. Also consider reversionary pensions for dependent disabled children. T

The reversionary pension has become more important with the application of the  $1.6m Transfer Balance Cap limit to pension phase.

 

  1. Review Capital Gains Tax Position of each investment

Review any capital gains made during the year and over the term you have held the asset and consider disposing of investments with unrealised losses to offset the gains made. If in pension phase then consider triggering some capital gains regularly to avoid building up an unrealised gain that may be at risk to government changes in legislation like those proposed this year.

 

  1. Review and Update the Investment Strategy not forgetting to include Insurance of Members

 Review your investment strategy and ensure all investments have been made in accordance with it, and the SMSF trust deed. Also, make sure your investment strategy has been updated to include consideration of insurances for members. See my article of this subject here. Don’t know what to do…..call us.

 

  1. Collate and Document records of all asset movements and decisions

Ensure all the funds activities have been appropriately documented with minutes, and that all copies of all statements and schedules are on file for your accountant/administrator and auditor.

 

  1. Double Dipping! June Contributions Deductible this year but can be allocated across 2 years.

For those who may have a large taxable income this year (large bonus or property sale) and are expecting a lower taxable next year you should consider a contribution allocation strategy to maximise deductions for the current financial year. This strategy is also known as a “Contributions Reserving” strategy but the ATO are not fans of Reserves so best to avoid that wording! Just call is an Allocated Contributions Holding Account.

 

  1. Market Valuations – Now required annually

Regulations now require assets to be valued at market value each year, ensure that you have re-valued assets such as property and collectibles. Here is my article on valuations of SMSF investments in Private Trusts and Private Companies. For more information refer to ATO’s publication Valuation guidelines for SMSFs.

 

  1. In-House Assets

If your fund has any investments in in-house assets you must make sure that at all times the market value of these investments is less than 5% of the value of the fund. Do not take this rule lightly as the new SMSF penalty powers will make it easier for the ATO to apply administrative penalties (fines) for smaller misdemeanours ranging from $820 to $10,200 per breach pere trustee.

Covid-Relief – The ATO has responded to current market conditions, and has announced it will not take compliance action against SMSFs where:

  • at 30 June 2020 the market value of an SMSF’s in-house assets is over 5% because of the downturn in the share market
  • the trustee of the SMSF prepares a rectification plan
  • by 30 June 2021, the rectification plan either:
      • cannot be effectively implemented because of market conditions
      • does not need to be implemented because the market recovers and the 5% test is again satisfied at 30 June 2021.

For good guidance on this issue https://www.cgw.com.au/publication/what-to-do-if-covid-19-has-ruined-your-smsfs-in-house-asset-ratio-the-atos-no-action-position-for-some-cases/

 

  1. Is your fund providing Covid-19 Rent Relief to a property tenant whether a related party or not? Get your documentation in place.

If you have provided Rent Relief to a tenant, related or not, then get it documented now before June 30 that you have considered, managed and documented the request, the reasoning behind the Trustee’s decision and the details of the relief provided

The ATO have thankfully provided a non-binding practical approach of broadly not applying resources to this issue for FY2020 and FY2021. However, this announcement, while positive, should not be relied on given the considerable downside risks.

For detail of what your auditors will most likely require please check Item 3 in this blog https://smsfcoach.com.au/2020/05/22/be-prepared-with-these-9-smsf-audit-tips/

 

  1. Careful if replacing TPD Insurance (Total Permanent Disability – basically “never work again” insurance)

Have you reviewed your insurances inside and outside of super? Don’t forget to check your current TPD policies owned by the fund with an own occupation definition as the rules changed a few years ago so be careful about replacing an existing policy as you may not be able to obtain this same cover inside super again.

 

  1. Do you need to update to a Corporate Trustee

We recommend a corporate trustee to all clients. To understand why please read this article on Why SMSFs should have a Corporate Trustee

 

  1. Check the ownership details of all SMSF Investments

Make sure the assets of the fund are held in the name of the trustees on behalf of the fund and that means all of them. Check carefully any online accounts you may have set up without checking the exact ownership details. You have to ensure all SMSF assets are kept separate from your other assets.

 

  1. Review Estate Planning and Loss of Mental Capacity Strategies.

Review any Binding Death Benefit Nominations (BDBN) to ensure they are valid (check the wording matches that required by the Trust Deed) and still in accordance with your wishes.  Also ensure you have appropriate Enduring Power of Attorney’s (EPOA) in place allow someone to step in to your place as Trustee in the event of illness, mental incapacity or death. Do you know what your Deed says on the subject? Did you know you cannot leave money to Step-Children via a BDBN if their birth-parent has pre-deceased you?

 

  1. Review any SMSF Loans

Have you provided special terms (low or no interest rates , capitalisation of interest etc.) on a related party loan? Then you need to review your loan agreement and get advice to see if you need to amend your loan. Have you made all the payments on your internal or third-party loans, have you looked at options on prepaying interest or fixing the rates while low. Have you made sure all payments in regards to Limited Recourse Borrowing Arrangements (LRBA) for the year were made through the SMSF Trustee? If you bought a property using borrowing, has the Holding Trust been stamped by your state’s Office of State Revenue. Please review my blog on the ATO’s Safe Harbour rules for Related Party Loans here 

 

  1. Still have Collectibles in your fund?

Play by the new rules that came into place on the 1st of July 2016 or get them out of your SMSF. More on these rules and what you must do in a good blog from SuperFund Partners  here.

 

  1. SuperStream obligations must be met

For super funds that receive employer contributions it’s important to take note that since 2014 the ATO has been gradually introducing SuperStream, a system whereby super contributions data is received and made electronically.

All funds should be able to receive contributions electronically and you should obtain an Electronic Service Address (ESA) to receive contribution information. If you are not sure if your fund has an ESA, contact your fund’s administrator, accountant or your bank for assistance.

If you change jobs your new employers may ask SMSF members for their ESA, ABN and bank account details. Some employers may also ask for your Unique Superfund Identifier (USI) – for SMSFs this is the ABN of the fund.

 

Don’t leave it until after 30 June, review your Self Managed Super Fund now and seek advice if in doubt about any matter.

Are you looking for an advisor that will keep you up to date and provide guidance and tips like in this blog? then why now contact me at our Castle Hill or Windsor office in Northwest Sydney to arrange a one on one consultation. Just click the Schedule Now button up on the left to find the appointment options.

Please consider passing on this article to family or friends. Pay it forward!

Liam Shorte B.Bus SSA™ AFP

Financial Planner & SMSF Specialist Advisor™

SMSF Specialist Adviser 

 Follow SMSFCoach on Twitter Liam Shorte on Linkedin NextGen Wealth on Facebook   

Verante Financial Planning

Tel: 02 98941844, Mobile: 0413 936 299

PO Box 6002 BHBC, Baulkham Hills NSW 2153

5/15 Terminus St. Castle Hill NSW 2154

Corporate Authorised Representative of Viridian Select Pty Ltd ABN 41 621 447 345, AFSL 51572

This information has been prepared without taking account of your objectives, financial situation or needs. Because of this you should, before acting on this information, consider its appropriateness, having regard to your objectives, financial situation and needs. This website provides an overview or summary only and it should not be considered a comprehensive statement on any matter or relied upon as such.

Using superannuation contribution splitting in a SMSF


One of the clear benefits of having a SMSF is the ability to implement strategies across member accounts without affecting current investments or dealing with multiple super fund administrators and their cumbersome paperwork.Super Splitting Super Splitting is also another way that an SMSF Specialist Advisor™ can show clients the advantage of using a professional for advice.

Superannuation splitting is an opportunity to look forward and plan for the future and have you family superannuation next egg prepared for legislative or tax changes while also taking advantage of any age differences to maximise Centrelink support and/or minimise tax legally. Each government attempts to address the matter of funding future retirement costs and to date they have predominantly sought to make enhancements via the superannuation system and these have involved making the superannuation system more flexible, adaptable and appealing to the population as a whole (although the GFC has seen them pull back on contribution limits and co-contribution support)

One of the most significant changes to the system was the introduction of superannuation contributions splitting from 1 January 2006, which allows superannuation contributions to be split or shared with a spouse. This does assist couples to maximise the benefits available in super and provide an avenue for spouses to share in super benefits or equalise balances. It is of most benefit to low-income or non-working spouses by allowing them to control their own super and have their own income in retirement.

Accessing higher lump sums if retiring early: If you’re both planning to retire under the age of 60 and take all or part of the super benefit as a lump sum, then each spouse can access their own tax-free threshold for lump sums (relating to the taxable component) of $200,000 (for the 2018/2019).

Paying insurance premiums for a non-contributing spouse You can use contribution splitting to help pay your spouse’s personal life, TPD and Income Protection insurance premiums through super, so both you and your partner may be able to afford the right level of cover. Especially useful is one spouse self-employed and still getting a business of the ground so cannot afford to contribute to continue cover.

However it is also a great tool for those couples that have an age difference and can benefit in 2 ways:

Increasing your age pension entitlements An older spouse may qualify for a higher age pension by splitting super to a younger spouse to exempt assets from Assets Testing. This means you may qualify for a higher age pension entitlement until the younger spouse attains pension age. Assets held in superannuation accumulation phase by pensioners and those on other allowances who are between 55 and age pension age are exempt under both the Income and Assets Test.

Access tax free income from age 60, sooner A  couple with a spouse who is aged 60 or over may access tax free payments earlier to fund earlier retirement. Improve after tax income and/or reduce debt earlier. In the case of a couple with one partner aged 60 or more, splitting contributions to the older spouse may enable earlier access to tax free income. This is because effective from 1 July 2007 super benefits have been paid tax free after a person attains the age of 60 and retires. (They can also take up to 10% of their balance while remaining at work via a Transition to Retirement Pension) This strategy can help increase the total income a couple is living off simply through splitting their contributions to the older spouse. The younger spouse splits their contributions with their older partner who once attaining the age of 60 is able to access these additional contributions earlier and tax free. This may benefit the couple by effectively reducing their overall assessable income. This is something to be thinking about now even if you are in your 30’s and 40’s as think of the tax and interest saved on being able to access tax free income or pay down a lump sum off your mortgage a few or more years earlier.

FUTURE PROOFING – Protect against legislative change: I believe that the concession for tax free pensions after age 60 will become too costly to maintain long-term and that some government in the future (they will have to be brave as soon 25% of the population will be over 60) will have to introduce tax on new pensions or limit the tax free lump sums available to pensioners. So whether you get funds into pension phase before changes or you have funds evenly spread across both spouse accounts to allow for both members to access any imposed limit to the max, it costs very little to put these strategies in place and they do not affect your investment mix. Implementation: The following types of contributions can be split:

  • Superannuation guarantee (SG)
  • Salary sacrifice
  • Deductible personal contributions (Self Employed & Self Funded Investors)
  • Voluntary employer contributions.

Generally, you can split contributions with your partner if:

  • you are married, or
  • in a de facto relationship – including same-sex couples, or
  • registered under a state or territory law, and
  • your partner is under their preservation age, or
  • if they are between their preservation age and age 65, have not retired under superannuation law.

You can split-off up to 85% of your concessional contributions to your spouse, which includes your SG and salary sacrifice contributions and up to the concessional contributions cap. You have until 30 June of each year to split contributions for the previous financial year. This means you have until 30 June 2015 to choose to split a contribution made in the 2013/14 financial year. You can also split contributions for the present financial year even if your entire benefit is to be rolled over, transferred or withdrawn.

If you are making a personal deductible contribution then make sure you have submitted the notice to claim a deduction before the Super Splitting request. A Superannuation Splitting request can be made to an SMSF by simply submitting a letter to the Trustee in writing stating the amount you wish to split to your spouse’s account. I recommend the Trustees minute the request and approve it with advice to the administrators to implement the split when completing the financials.

It is recommended that you seek expert advice from your financial adviser (SMSF Specialist Advisor™) before deciding if this strategy is right for you. As always I welcome and yes crave feedback! Also appreciate those who re-tweet educational material for the benefit of all in the sector. We have offices in Windsor and Castle Hill and are always happy to meet new clients for a one on one chat either face to face, by phone or on Skype. Just click the Schedule Now button up on the left to find the appointment options.

Liam Shorte B.Bus SSA™ AFP

Financial Planner & SMSF Specialist Advisor™

SMSF Specialist Adviser 

 Follow SMSFCoach on Twitter Liam Shorte on Linkedin NextGen Wealth on Facebook   

Verante Financial Planning

Tel: 02 98941844, Mobile: 0413 936 299

PO Box 6002 BHBC, Baulkham Hills NSW 2153

5/15 Terminus St. Castle Hill NSW 2154

Corporate Authorised Representative of Viridian Select Pty Ltd ABN 41 621 447 345, AFSL 51572

This information has been prepared without taking account of your objectives, financial situation or needs. Because of this you should, before acting on this information, consider its appropriateness, having regard to your objectives, financial situation and needs. This website provides an overview or summary only and it should not be considered a comprehensive statement on any matter or relied upon as such.

Superannuation Splitting to a Spouse already in or entering Transition to Retirement Phase


So I got a question about continuing to Super Split to a spouse who is over 55 and already using a Transition to retirement Pension but not fully retired.

If a client is over 55 with a TRIS/TTRAP Pension and an Accumulation Account as they are still working or not fully retired, can they continue to receive Super Splits from their spouse?

The answer is yes they can receive the splits into their accumulation account as they are between 55 and 64 and not retired which meets the eligibility rules. The ATO guidelines state:

“Which members are eligible to apply?
All your members are eligible, although it’s your decision whether to offer a splitting facility to all members. They can apply to split contributions regardless of their own age, but their spouse, to whom you transfer the contributions, must be either:

less than 55 years old
55 to 64 years old and not retired.”

The super contributions splitting provisions operate independently from the pension payment rules. So as long as each set of provisions are complied with, there shouldn’t be an issue.

The question was then asked “could the spouse then consolidate their TRIS/TTRAP and Accumulation accounts the following year and thereby moving those funds to pension phase and possibly accessing a higher maximum pension including the amount super split from their spouse.”

 I again believe yes as otherwise the accounting would have to quarantine Super Split amounts until 65 or retirement and the ATO have again said:

“There are no requirements for funds to specially report to us amounts that have been rolled over or received as a result of a contributions-splitting application”

 This clarifies the way to continue implementing two strategies:

  • When looking to maximise clients TRIS/TTRAP pensions – often to use the 10% to pay off debt
  • Ensuring a member can do rollbacks, consolidations and recommencements to maximise the amount in pension phase.

Make sure to get individual advice on your personal circumstances and be aware that the Super split amount will count towards the receiving spouse’s concession caps.

I hope this guidance  has been helpful and please take the time to comment. Feedback always appreciated. Click here to arrange a meeting/call back or contact our Castle Hill or Windsor offices for an appointment to discuss your needs.

Liam Shorte B.Bus SSA™ AFP

Financial Planner & SMSF Specialist Advisor™

SMSF Specialist Adviser 

 Follow SMSFCoach on Twitter Liam Shorte on Linkedin NextGen Wealth on Facebook   

Verante Financial Planning

Tel: 02 98941844, Mobile: 0413 936 299

PO Box 6002 BHBC, Baulkham Hills NSW 2153

5/15 Terminus St. Castle Hill NSW 2154

Corporate Authorised Representative of Viridian Select Pty Ltd ABN 41 621 447 345, AFSL 51572

This information has been prepared without taking account of your objectives, financial situation or needs. Because of this you should, before acting on this information, consider its appropriateness, having regard to your objectives, financial situation and needs. This website provides an overview or summary only and it should not be considered a comprehensive statement on any matter or relied upon as such.

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