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Converting property into super

Individuals can minimise capital gains tax (CGT) when selling an investment property where proceeds are contributed to superannuation.

Those who sell their property can contribute up to $500,000 as a non-concessional contribution into their superannuation, which means that no tax will be payable. Non-concessional contributions, or after-tax super contributions, are super contributions for which an individual hasn’t claimed a tax deduction.

However, since selling an investment property is a type of capital gains tax event (unless it was acquired before 20 September 1985), sellers will need to calculate their capital costs to add to the purchase price to establish the property’s cost base. The sales price minus the cost base will form their taxable portion.

Individuals who have owned the property for more than 12 months will receive a 50 per cent discount on the taxable portion. For properties owned in joint names, the taxable portion may again be cut in half. The remaining taxable portion is added to each owner’s taxable income for the financial year in which they exchanged contract.

To further reduce CGT, individuals should consider their eligibility to contribute up to $35,000 as a concessional contribution to super, as this can help lower a person’s taxable income by $35,000 a year and reduce their potential capital gains tax liabilities.

Individuals should keep in mind that proposed changes to Australia’s superannuation rules may affect this strategy since concessional contributions may decrease to only $25,000 a year.

Posted on 17 August '16 by , under Tax.

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Transition to retirement

The transition to retirement (TTR) strategy allows you to access some of your super while you continue to work.

You are able to use the TTR strategy if you are aged 55 to 60. You can use it to supplement your income if you reduce your work hours or boost your super and save on tax while you keep working full time.

  • Starting a TTR pension: To start your TTR pension, transfer some of your super to an account-based pension. You have to keep some money in your super account so that you can continue to receive your employer's compulsory contributions as well as any voluntary contributions you may be making.
  • Government benefits and TTR: The benefits you or your partner receive might be impacted if you choose to opt for this strategy. How and what exactly will change might become clearer upon discussing this with a Financial Information Service (FIS) officer.
  • Life insurance and TTR: In some cases, the life insurance cover you have with your super may stop or reduce if you start a TTR pension – check this before making any decisions or changes.

TTR can help ease your mind as you transition into retirement but it can be a bit complex. Before you choose whether you want to use TTR to reduce work hours or save on tax, or even if you want to use TTR altogether, you should figure out how this will impact all aspects of your finances.

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