With the ongoing escalation of the COVID-19 crisis many people are struggling. Huge changes are happening and we’re all being affected, socially, emotionally and financially. If your ability to work and earn an income has already been affected, you’re likely to be worried about how you’re going to cover your bills and mortgage and pay…

The spread of coronavirus has been followed by some of the biggest plunges in share markets since the Global Financial Crisis (GFC), both here in Australia and around the world. There’s nothing new about a market correction, but for those close to retirement it can be a nerve-wracking experience. If you’ve checked your superannuation balance…

While the Banking and Financial Services Royal Commission seems long ago in the minds of many, the people that have been financially affected by dubious practitioners will no doubt carry the scar of mistrust for life. This then, is precisely why the government has introduced new laws which will give ASIC new enforcement and supervision…

To be eligible for superannuation fund tax concessions, SMSFs are required to be maintained for the sole purpose of providing retirement benefits to members, it is what is known as a sole purpose test (s 62 of the SIS Act). Failing the test could expose trustees to civil and criminal penalties in addition to the…

Knowing whether you’ll be entitled to the Age Pension is an important part of your retirement planning. Once you reach Age Pension age (66 years from 1 July 2019), you’ll also need to pass two tests: the assets test and income test. Here we outline the basic thresholds that apply under each test and what…

Many SMSFs have used a “limited recourse borrowing arrangement” (LRBA) as part of a gearing strategy to build members’ retirement savings, allowing the funds to borrow to buy high-value growth assets, typically real estate. However, proposed new laws that seek to count a portion of an SMSF’s loan balance towards some members’ own “total superannuation…

The government has created a new opportunity for some recent retirees to make additional superannuation contributions. From 1 July 2019, a 12-month exemption from the “work test” for newly retired individuals aged between 65 and 74 years with a total superannuation balance below $300,000 means many older Australians will now have an extra year in…

The progressive lowering of company tax rates may have the effect of locking the benefit of any tax paid at a higher rate in the franking account. A company pays tax at a certain rate on the income year and franking debits accrue at that rate in that year. If dividends referable to that income…

The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) has released proposed updates to organisational competence requirements for financial advice licensees, in a bid to lift education, training, and ethical standards in the financial advice industry. The proposal is based on existing draft guidance published by the Financial Adviser Standards and Ethics Authority (FASEA). Broadly, the new…

If you own a private company, deemed dividend payments or Div 7A may be familiar to you. In short, it is designed to ensure that income is not inappropriately sheltered in corporate structures at the corporate tax rate. It usually applies when a private company provides a benefit to a shareholder (or their associate), and…

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