BDO Superannuation partner Paul Rafton said significant changes in the 2014/2015 and 2015/2016 financial years have impacted both workers and retirees.
“Those managing their own super funds need to ensure they understand both their concessional and non-concessional contributions caps and how these will impact on their end-of-year tax assessments,” he said.
Mr Rafton said it was important for SMSF practitioners to know if their client is in receipt of the age pension since the rules around the age pension income test changed on 1 January 2015.
“Any changes made to a pension from [the client’s] SMSF could affect how their government age pension is calculated,” he said.
Mr Rafton also said it was important to note that the new rules for artworks and collectables will come into effect on 1 July 2016.
“From this date, any artworks or collectables transferred out of a fund will need to be valued by an independent qualified valuer,” he said.
“Be aware that this rule applies regardless of the purchase date.”
From 1 July 2015, employers with 20 or more employees will be required to meet their superannuation obligations under the new SuperStream requirements.
“This will require employers to send super contributions data (not monies) electronically, including to SMSFs, so you may need to confirm the details around this with your employer,” Mr Rafton said.
However, practitioners should be aware of the most recent extension announced by the ATO for mid-sized employers who are making “genuine attempts” to prepare for the new electronic super contributions regime.
While the non-concessional contributions caps for the 2016 financial year will remain at $180,000 for the year, the ATO has confirmed that excess non-concessional contributions can now be refunded to a member.
“Any associated earnings on the excess, as calculated by the ATO, would be taxed at the member’s marginal tax rates, and these rules apply retrospectively from 1 July 2013,” he said.
SMSF practitioners should also be aware that the ATO has recently indicated that “income earned from an arrangement involving a loan from a related party which is not maintained at arm’s length, is at risk of being subject to the non-arm’s length income rules”.
“This is a significant area to be aware of as such income would be taxed at 47 percent,” Mr Rafton said.
“There are a number of other factors that the ATO will also look at in relation to related party loans, so those concerned should raise this with their adviser.”