Recent Media Releases:
SMSF member limit to increase from four to six
One of the key changes from this year’s budget is the Government’s proposal to increase the maximum permitted number of members in a self-managed superannuation fund from four to six members.
Bankruptcy and SMSF trusteeship
John and Mary are individual trustees of their SMSF. John has incurred quite a substantial amount of unmanageable debts and recently entered into a voluntary bankruptcy. John is unsure what he should do as a trustee in these circumstances.
New LRBA rules to apply after 1 July 2018
A new piece of legislation giving effect to proposed measures announced during the 2018 Budget in respect of limited recourse borrowing arrangements (‘LRBA’) is currently being discussed by Parliament.
Which country, which will?
The Victorian case of Re Tang  looked at a raft of issues that arose when the deceased had assets in both Australia and China.
The deceased was an Australian citizen who resided in China. Although, the majority of his personal estate was held in China the deceased did hold some personal assets in Australia. These assets included two bank accounts which he left to his mother on a hand written note in Chinese which did not name an executor and was not witnessed. In other words the note did not meet the formal requirements to be a will in Victoria.
The Commission’s ‘Reality’ is Not Real
“ witch hunt - an intensive effort to discover and expose disloyalty, subversion, dishonesty, or the like, usually based on slight, doubtful, or irrelevant evidence” – dictionary.com
Financial planners in this country are copping a kicking that they just don’t deserve. Having watched the Royal Commission dish it out, and then read the media’s ‘outrage’, I smell a witch hunt and I simply have to point out some things which seem to have been missed in all the “courtroom drama”.
Dividend imputation: Is class war raging?
Proponents argue the current system of Australian Tax Office cash refunds for unused imputation credits--a measure introduced by the Howard-Costello Liberal Government in 2000 in an update to the original Hawke-Keating's Labor Government dividend imputation regime--is unsustainable
Auditor says ‘safe harbour’ terms are mandatory – what now?
Would an SMSF trustee decision not to adopt the safe harbour terms from the ATO’s Guidelines in relation to a related party loan breach the Superannuation Industry (Supervision) Act SIS (Act)?
‘Last golden opportunity for LRBAs’, warns lawyer
With the government’s proposed measures for LRBAs likely to enter Parliament soon, SMSF clients considering an LRBA may want to initiate these strategies before 30 June this year, says an industry lawyer.
Crypto assets rewrite estate planning
Complex cryptocurrency assets are driving financial advisers to reconsider their clients' digital lives and the impact this has on estate planning.
Company deregistration errors spur litigation risk
SMSF practitioners have been told to approach the voluntary deregistration of companies carefully with clients, with some professionals landing themselves in court where the deregistration caused adverse outcomes.
Appoint new trustees to deregistered companies
Alternative recourse is available to SMSFs when the company acting as the fund's corporate trustee has been deregistered, with the appointment of new corporate trustees an option, according to a law firm.
Draft law unclear on LRBA additional finance
The draft legislation outlining how limited recourse borrowing arrangements (LRBA) will impact on total superannuation balances does not provide clarity on what will happen if an SMSF member requires additional finance under the refinancing of current LRBAs.
10 things to know about downsizer contributions
Australians will be able to contribute certain proceeds from home sales to their superannuation from 1 July, but there are a number of factors to consider.
What to do with your SMSF if you're posted overseas (and don't want a tax hike)
Imagine being posted overseas for a few years and coming back to Australia to face a whopping tax bill. That's what's likely if you run a self-managed superannuation fund (SMSF) and you don't plan ahead for the period you are away.
Family trusts a growing force in the Australian economy
Family trusts have always been an important structure for business planning, tax planning and estate planning, mainly due to their tax efficiency, asset protection, flexibility and succession possibilities.
Townsends promotes Hartley
Townsends Business and Corporate Lawyers has promoted Julie Hartley to associate, continuing her focus on the self-managed superannuation funds (SMSF) space.
Dual structures: the ‘ideal retirement strategy’?
In the wake of the super changes, it's clear that a dual trust and SMSF structure is the best retirement strategy, a superannuation planner has argued.
Following the government’s decision to deny tax deductions for SMSF trustees’ travel expenses when visiting investment properties, a solicitor has highlighted which investment vehicles can still claim travel expenses.
Solicitor at Townsends Business & Corporate Lawyers, Elizabeth Wang said SMSF trustees should be aware that the federal government’s 2017-18 budget revealed government intentions to deny all travel deductions associated with the inspection, maintenance or rent collection for residential investment properties.
SMSFs and discretionary trusts often feature family members in positions of corporate trustees and directors, so kicking a director out can be a sensitive matter.
However, there are steps that can be taken, says Townsends Business & Corporate Lawyers solicitor, Natasha Ng.
Appointing a reversionary beneficiary
We often get asked by clients, can a reversionary beneficiary be nominated after a pension has commenced? However, before nominating a reversionary beneficiary it is important to examine who can be nominated as a reversionary beneficiary.
Legal shift disqualifies popular SMSF tax deduction
Recent legislation changes to allowable tax deductions may have implications for SMSF trustees who hold investment property in their fund, writes Elizabeth Wang.
Take BDBNs seriously to avoid breach
Treating binding death benefit nominations (BDBN) as a mere formality when commencing a superannuation account can lead to financial services licensees cutting corners, but this is not an endemic issue in the industry, according to a legal expert.