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Avoiding CGT in your SMSF

It may be beneficial for trustees who buy and sell assets through their self-managed super fund to start a transition to retirement pension to escape the burden of capital gains tax.

Capital gains are profits that an SMSF makes on the sale of an asset. Capital gains tax (CGT) is a tax on the profits that a fund, or an individual, makes on the sale of an asset. According to the ATO, CGT refers to the income tax an SMSF pays on any net capital gain it makes e.g. when the fund sells an asset as part of a CGT event, the fund becomes subject to CGT.

While CGT is payable in Australia’s superannuation environment, different rates apply to different situations.

Before a pension is established within an SMSF, any assets the fund has held for less than 12 months will be taxed at 15 per cent, and assets the fund has held for more than 12 months will receive a 33 per cent discount. Therefore, the CGT rate will be 10 per cent.

Once an SMSF trustee is in pension mode, there will be no CGT payable on any transactions. This also goes for all account-based pensions and all transition to retirement pensions, making it one of the main reasons why putting money into superannuation as the lower tax rate will guarantee better returns.

For the reason outlined above, it may also be in a trustee’s best interest to start a transition to retirement pension as soon as they turn their preservation age, which is currently 56 years old.

Posted on 15 March '16 by , under Tax.

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What to consider when consolidating your super

The ATO reported that 45% of working Australians were not aware that they had multiple super accounts in 2016. Having multiple super accounts is particularly common for individuals who have had more than one job. If this is you, it is important to identify and manage your super accounts because having more than one can be costly as a result of account fees from multiple funds.To combat this, you may want to consolidate your super, which moves all your super into one account. Not only does this save on fees, but it also makes your super easier to manage and keep track of.

Before consolidating your super, it is important to do the following:

Research your funds' policy
Compare your active super accounts so you can make the right choice about which one you should close. Things to assess include:

  • Exit fees
  • Insurance policies
  • Investment options
  • Ongoing service fees
  • Performance of the funds

Check employer contributions
Changing funds may affect how much your employer contributes, as some employers contribute more to certain funds. Check your current accounts to see if changing funds will affect this. Once you have selected a super fund, regardless of whether you choose a new super fund or one of your existing ones, provide your employer with the details they need to pay super into your selected account.

Gather the relevant information
When consolidating your super, you will need to have the following details ready:

  • Your tax file number.
  • Proof of identity. This could include your driver's license, birth certificate or passport.
  • Your fund's superannuation product identification number (SPIN).
  • Your fund's unique superannuation identifier (USI).
  • Details of your previous fund.

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