A Self-Managed Superannuation Fund (SMSF) is a super fund managed by you and allows you to take control over the investment strategy of your fund. It also provides greater flexibility in terms of investing the fund’s assets, retirement income options and estate planning.
However, it’s important to understand the responsibilities that come with being an SMSF trustee as they are subject to considerable compliance and regulation, meaning they aren’t suitable for everybody.
Things to consider
Some important considerations for a Self-Managed Super Fund trustee are:
- Are you eligible to become a trustee?
- What are your reporting obligations as a trustee?
- Do you have enough time to manage an SMSF?
- Will someone help you set up and run your SMSF?
- How will you keep up to date with changes to laws and legislation?
- Are you aware of the sole purpose test?
How Carbon Accounting & Tax can help you
Setting up your own Self-Managed Super Fund (SMSF) gives you more freedom and flexibility to access investment options within your superannuation. But it’s also a big responsibility, so it pays to partner with a specialist SMSF accounting firm.
Carbon Accounting & Tax’s establishment services include:
- Providing the SMSF trust deed
- Providing documentation to appoint trustees
- Lodgement of an Election for your SMSF to become a regulated fund
- ATO applications to obtain a TFN and ABN for your SMSF
- We will refer you to our recommended financial planners to discuss your investment strategy; and
- Provide resolutions and minutes to acknowledge the establishment of your SMSF.
If you have an existing SMSF, perhaps you’ve outgrown your current provider or would like the benefit of a fresh approach. Carbon Accounting & Tax makes the process of transferring your existing fund a smooth one.
Trustees can rest easy knowing management of your SMSF is in safe hands, thanks to our full suite of financial services, year-end and regulatory work and ongoing advice.
Carbon Accounting & Tax’s review of your existing fund includes:
- Update of your trust deed in compliance with the current legislation
- Detailed investment strategy
- Investment guidelines
- Binding death benefit nominations
- Pension strategies and minutes
- Compliance documents for ongoing maintenance of the SMSF
- Trustees’ responsibilities; and
- Administration and mailing house functions as detailed below.
Carbon Accounting & Tax will undertake the following on your behalf:
- Scanning all documents into our electronic document management system for your records and audit purposes
- Maintaining an investment register for listed securities, fixed interest, managed funds, direct property and unlisted assets
- Regular reconciliations of transactions during the course of the year
- Maintaining individual member records including details of contributions, allocation of earnings and benefit payments, member components and preservation components
- Maintaining reserve accounts (if applicable)
- Maintaining multiple member accounts for the same member whether accumulation or pension, including defined benefit pensions
- Preparation of PAYG payment summaries for pensions (as applicable)
- Arranging tax payments and other associated fund invoices
- Segregation of assets for members; and
- Collection and facilitation of dividend payments; and monitoring of cash balance to ensure sufficient cash to meet SMSF obligations.
Self-Managed Super Fund Benefits
As leading specialists in the SMSF field, not only will we help you understand and satisfy the SMSF’s reporting obligations to the ATO, but we will ensure you’re meeting your responsibilities as a trustee of an SMSF.
With so many rules and regulations surrounding super, it’s important to do things right and that’s where Carbon Accounting & Tax comes in. We have a dedicated ‘super’ team that have a high level of technical expertise and are up to date with the latest legislative changes and superannuation strategies.
Frequently Asked Questions
A Self-Managed Super Fund (SMSF) is a superannuation fund that you manage.
By having an SMSF, you would be in the driver’s seat of your superannuation fund’s investment strategy. An SMSF would also give you additional flexibility in how you invest your fund’s assets, the retirement income options you have, and your estate planning.
There are quite a few responsibilities and reporting obligations for SMSF Trustee’s, so it’s important to do your research and discuss your options with your accountant before setting one up. Given that SMSF’s are bound by compliance and regulation, they are not the best option for everyone.
A self-managed super fund can be set up through the creation of a superannuation fund deed and the registration of a corporate trustee. This can be done through various legal document providers, accountants or lawyers.
Setting up a Self-Managed Super Fund can be tricky. Our best advice is to get in touch with Carbon to discuss your situation prior to starting the process. Once we have all of the information, we can give tailored advice and work together.
We believe that our role is to take the stress of running a SMSF off of your hands, as well as provide the ‘why’ behind each action. We will also help ensure you meet all of the administration and reporting obligations you’re required to do as an SMSF Trustee.
Yes. Like any other type of super fund, your SMSF benefits from concessional tax, but the rate is usually lower than your income tax. The ATO says that in general, an SMSF’s income is generally taxed at a concessional rate of 15% at maximum. This is at the accumulation phase. In the pension phase, there are no taxes payable.
The attaining age is 65. Members who are at least 65 years old may cash their benefits any time. There are no cashing restrictions and members are not required to cash out benefits after they’re reached the attaining age.
Certain situations may warrant you permission to withdraw funds from your superannuation before you reach the attaining age. If, for example, your account contains unrestricted non-preserved money, you may withdraw it when you resign from your employer. The ATO also says that you may withdraw between $1,000 to $10,000 on the grounds of severe financial hardship. You can only make one early withdrawal within any 12-month period.
Contact us to find out more about Self-Managed Super Funds.
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