ATO to target SMSF property investors
Following a taxpayer alert concerning property development, a national accountancy firm expects the ATO will be targeting SMSF property investors in 2014.
Speaking to SMSF Adviser, regional director of H&R Block Frank Bass said there are a range of “traps” SMSF property investors need to avoid.
“The main area [is] mixing up personal finances with the super fund itself. The income and expenses related to a property held in a super fund should be isolated to the fund itself and not mixed with personal or company accounts,” he said.
“Rent received from a property held by an SMSF should be kept in that account and cannot be transferred to personal income, while expenses need to be covered by the fund. Repairs to the property not paid by the super fund should be clearly disclosed and separated from its tax return,” he added.
This follows the release of a taxpayer alert last month which, although not issued specifically in relation to superannuation, is applicable to certain superannuation funds.
“There are quite a few super funds, being self-managed funds, which invest via a unit trust. For those super funds that invest via a unit trust, this taxpayer alert is very pertinent,” DBA Lawyers director Daniel Butler told SMSF Adviser.
“Because this taxpayer alert says if you are investing via a unit trust in property and you have an organised plan to buy property to subdivide and develop and then sell, this could be on revenue account, rather than capital account. And that might disqualify the super fund from claiming the one-third capital gains tax (CGT) discount.”
Mr Butler said it would be “risky” for those that do a development and sell in a short period of time to claim any CGT discount.