Risks flagged with real estate appraisal values
While the ATO will typically accept property appraisals performed by real estate agencies, where the value is close to the $1.6 million cap, SMSFs should look to obtain an independent valuation, says an industry lawyer.
Speaking at a seminar, DBA Lawyers special counsel Rebecca James explained that for SMSF clients applying for the CGT relief, SMSF practitioners will need to ensure detailed records are kept for the client, detailing the cost base and market value of each asset they own.
Ms James said information substantiating the market value such as the methodology used to calculate that the value of each asset will also need to be kept.
“[For example], if the asset was a parcel of shares, was it the listed share price at close of business on the day of the election for the shares?” she said.
“Or if we’ve got property, have we got independent valuer’s reports to ascertain the value of the property?”
Ms James said the ATO typically does accept real estate appraisals for the valuation of a property but where the client is “getting to the pointy end of the value and they’re getting close to the $1.6 million, or they’re trying to argue that the value of a property has dropped” for example, “those might be circumstances where you might try and get an independent valuer’s report”.
“We’ve already seen this with the small business CGT concessions. That’s an area where the ATO really looks at it closely,” she said.
“We can expect valuations around CGT relief and the $1.6 million retirement cap to be a hot area for audit and review for the ATO. So, how we set out our records and substantiate our values will become important.”
Miranda Brownlee is the deputy editor of SMSF Adviser, which is the leading source of news, strategy and educational content for professionals working in the SMSF sector.
Since joining the team in 2014, Miranda has been responsible for breaking some of the biggest superannuation stories in Australia, and has reported extensively on technical strategy and legislative updates. Miranda has also directed SMSF Adviser's print publication for several years.
Miranda also has broad business and financial services reporting experience, having written for titles including Investor Daily, ifa and Accountants Daily.