Your self-managed superannuation fund (SMSF) may still be struggling with the super reforms after 1 July 2018 but it’s time to focus on capital gains tax (CGT) relief opportunities. Get them wrong and your fund will pay more tax than it needs to.
Let’s get things in perspective. Before the changes your super pension was running along nicely with underlying fund earnings, capital growth and pension payments (from age 60) all tax-free. Then the government upset the apple cart and changed the rules.
You had to reduce your pension balance to $1.6 million by July 1 last year. If you had a transition to retirement (TTR) pension, you lost the tax-free treatment on earnings and capital gains from that date.
The CGT relief allows you to reset an asset’s cost base with only future growth being taxed. That’s because it would have been unfair if the assets supporting your pension had unrealised capital gains. The cut-off is July but it could take a few months to get organised so it’s worth starting now.
To be eligible for CGT Relief
- There must be a clear connection with the objective of CGT relief – ie, to comply with the transfer balance cap (TBC) – or there must be a TTR pension (of any value) as at November 9, 2017;
- The asset must have been held continuously from November 9, 2016 to June 30 2017; and
- You must make an irrevocable election in the fund’s 2017 annual return.
The Australian Taxation Office allowed SMSF members impacted by the introduction of the TBC to deal with the excess above $1.6 million before July 1, 2017 by simply making a written commutation request to the trustee and having that request acknowledged. The actual commutation could then be processed when preparing the fund’s annual return. So, with lodgements due by July 2, 2018, now is the time to do the “heavy lifting” to make the election, where appropriate, for transitional CGT relief.
The ATO has introduced new regulations for event based reporting for SMSF’s.
Currently, SMSF members use the SMSF Annual Return (SAR) form for reporting which will change as of 1 July 2018 to the super Transfer Balance Account Report (TBAR) Form. The TBAR allows the ATO to track and record balances on individuals transfer balance caps and their total superannuation balance. Important: From 1 July 2018, any SMSF with a fund members who has a total superannuation balance of $1 million or more will be required to report events affecting the fund member’s transfer balance, for example, starting a SMSF pension, “within 28 days after the end of the quarter in which the event occurs”.
Butlers Accountants are currently transitioning our SMSF’s to a new real time reporting software called CLASS SUPER to ensure your fund is compliant with the new TBAR reporting.
If you are the Trustee of a SMSF, and you have any queries with these changes, please contact our Specialist SMSF Team to discuss.