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Reducing tax in your SMSF

There are some effective, and often quite simple, strategies to reduce the tax payable in an SMSF that many fail to take advantage of.

Nomination of beneficiary
Those who nominate a spouse, child or financial dependent as a beneficiary may avoid paying tax on a lump sum death benefit.

Delaying TTR commencement
Members looking to begin a transition to retirement pension in their late 50s may delay this decision until age 60. The benefit of waiting is that members avoid being taxed on super fund pension payments. This strategy may be particularly useful for members who are still working or have other taxable income outside super.

This strategy involves taking lump sums or pension payments with a high taxable component out of a fund and replacing them with tax-free non-concessional contributions. It is important that the non-concessional contribution is separated from the taxable components in the accumulation balance to avoid losing the benefit of the re-contribution.

Lump sum withdrawals
This solution is suited to members who have a short time to live. They can withdraw all assets from their super fund and their children can avoid any tax upon death. The catch is that if they live longer than expected, they may not be able to transfer the money back into their super account.

Posted on 15 September '15 by , under Super.

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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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