Legislation, SMSFA, Tax

Senate Div 296 report pushed back

Division 296 tax Senate Economics Legislation Committee SMSF Association

A Senate committee report examining the proposed Division 296 tax will now come out in May after being pushed back by three weeks.

A Senate committee report into the operation of the legislation that will introduce the Division 296 tax has been pushed back by three weeks, with the SMSF Association welcoming the additional time that will be taken to examine the relevant bills.

Following a referral from the Senate on 7 December 2023, the Senate Economics Legislation Committee was due to conduct an inquiry into the two bills that will give effect to the Division 296 tax, which will apply to the earnings of fund members with a total super balance in excess of $3 million, and produce a final report by 19 April.

However, the Senate granted an extension of the review of the Treasury Laws Amendment (Better Targeted Superannuation Concessions and Other Measures) Bill 2023 and the Superannuation (Better Targeted superannuation Concessions) Imposition Bill 2023 and a final report is now due on 10 May.

In a note to members, the SMSF Association stated it had put forward its submission to the Senate inquiry and expects hearings will be conducted as part of the review process, but it was still awaiting details of those.

“We welcome the additional time that has been made available to the committee to consider these bills,” the association stated.

“As our submission highlighted, these measures are complex, contain a number of unintended consequences and distorted outcomes.

“If passed in its current form, the bill would fundamentally change the Australian taxation system and provide a precedent for the taxation of unrealised gains.”

At the industry body’s national conference in Brisbane last week, SMSF Association chief executive Peter Burgess revealed independent members of parliament were planning to introduce amendments that would index the $3 million threshold at which the tax applied by increments of $100,000.

Also at the event, shadow treasurer Angus Taylor was highly critical of the tax, labelling it “a shocker” and a strategic attack on the SMSF sector, and saying it would introduce double taxation on retirement savings.

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