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SMSF deadline approaches for limited recourse borrowing arrangements

SMSF trustees have until 31 January 2017 to review their limited recourse borrowing arrangements (LRBAs) to ensure they are consistent with an arm’s length dealing, or alternatively brought to an end if they are not.

The Tax Office recently provided further guidance to SMSF trustees on when the non-arm’s length income (NALI) provisions apply to an SMSF’s LRBA in their Practical Compliance Guideline (PCG 2016/5) and Taxation Determination (TD 2016/16).

When determining whether the NALI provisions apply, SMSF trustees must recognise it is a two-step process. First, it needs to be determined whether:
1. The terms of the LRBA are consistent with the safe harbours in PCG 2016/5
2. The SMSF trustee can otherwise demonstrate that they are arm’s length.

If the borrowing arrangement is on arm’s length then SMSF trustees do not have to consider TD 2016/16 and the ATO will not apply the NALI provisions.

However, trustees with an LRBA on terms that are non-arm’s length will need to consider TD 2016/16. Trustees will need to consider the second limb of the NALI provisions and whether or not the income the fund obtains under the arrangement is greater than it would otherwise have been.

SMSF trustees should be aware that TD 2016/16 is not an alternative to the safe harbours set out in PCG 2016/5 and only applies if borrowing terms of an LRBA are non-arm’s length.

Posted on 12 January '17 by , under Super.

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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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