Frydenberg spills on franking credits future

As lobbying persists for the franking credits system to be overhauled, Assistant Treasurer Josh Frydenberg has this morning shed light on the government’s views on the system’s future.

Addressing delegates at a Tax Institute event in Sydney this morning, Mr Frydenberg said that in spite of community lobbying and references in the Tax Discussion Paper, changes to the franking credits system are “not imminent”.

“We very much understand how that franking credits system is relied upon by people in their retirement. There is a discussion about it in the Discussion Paper, but it’s fair to say we don’t have big plans for changes in that area,” Mr Frydenberg said.

In addition, on the issue of overhauling the retirement income product space, Mr Frydenberg noted that at present, only a “very limited” range of annuities qualify for the tax exemption on assets supporting retirement income products.

Under the proposed new rules, concessional tax treatment would be extended to a wider range of products.

“Treasury has been working closely with stakeholders on a proposal for a new alternate set of rules. The government will consider the results of this with a view to announcing a package of changes later this year,” he said.

“While the details have yet to be fully finalised, at this stage, it’s not envisaged that SMSFs will be able to provide products under the proposed new rules."

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