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Travels with my SMSF

Travelling overseas for an extended period of time is an exciting adventure and a chance to have a break. However, SMSFs do not take a break when you do, which is why it is important to ensure everything remains in line while you are away. SMSFs that breach the residency rules are taxed at the marginal rate of 49% rather than the concessionary rate of 15%. Before travelling, trustees must consider the implications to their SMSF.

Fund recognised as an Australian fund:
The SMSF will be recognised as an Australian super fund provided that the setup of and initial contributions have been made and accepted by the trustees in Australia, however, the trust deed does not have to be signed and executed in Australia. An SMSF that has been established outside Australia will also satisfy the test if at least one of the fund’s assets are located in Australia.

Management and control of the fund carried out in Australia:
The central management and control of the fund must usually be in Australia. This means the SMSF’s strategic decisions are regularly made, and high-level duties and activities are performed in Australia, such as formulating the investment strategy, reviewing the performance of the fund’s investments and determining how assets are to be used for member benefits. Generally, funds will meet this condition even if its central management and control is temporarily outside Australia for up to two years.

Active member test:
An “active member” is a contributor to the fund or contributions to the fund have been made on their behalf. To satisfy this test, the fund will need to have active members who are Australian residents and hold at least 50% of the total market value of the fund’s assets attributable super interests, or the sum of the amounts that would be payable to active members if they decided to leave the fund.

Posted on 30 October '19 by , under Super.

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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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