Specialist advice required immediately

The SMSF Association has urged trustees to seek specialist advice in order to make the most of the super reforms, as well as ensure their funds comply with the new regulations.

“Time is running out. The changes to superannuation that became law late last year mean planning for the end of this financial year assumes a higher priority compared with previous years,” SMSF Association chief executive John Maroney said.

“Trustees need to make sure they are fully aware of all the issues flowing from the changes and the best way to do this is to get advice from an SMSF Association independently endorsed specialist.

“Only by working closely with an SMSF specialist will trustees be able to have the confidence to know their fund is compliant with the new legislation.”

Maroney pointed out additional compliance burdens had been introduced into the system, such as the $1.6 million transfer balance cap, which might require SMSF trustees to take action such as removing any excess balances from their pension accounts, possibly rolling these excess amounts back into accumulation phase or rebalancing super holdings between spouses, all of which will require specialist advice.

“An SMSF specialist will also help trustees prepare the essential detailed minutes regarding the commutation of any balances over the $1.6 million cap before 30 June,” he said.

“The removal of the tax-exempt status from earnings on fund investments for those using transition to retirement pensions is another change where specialist advice could prove invaluable to trustees.”

The professional body suggested now was the right time to determine whether action would be needed to take advantage of the capital gains tax (CGT) concessions arising from the new balance limits to take effect from 1 July.

“The CGT relief rules allow funds to reset the cost base of assets affected by the law changes before the end of the financial year. This is a valuable but one-off opportunity for SMSF members to minimise the impact of the law changes on their retirement savings,” Maroney noted.

“Remember, there is only about five weeks to go until the end of the financial year. Getting the right specialist advice now could help trustees to set up their SMSFs in the most efficient way when the new regime takes effect from 1 July.”

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