ATO uses SGEs to recover super from phoenix companies

ato, phoenix companies, Superannuation Guarantee EstimatesThe ATO has used new powers, called Superannuation Guarantee Estimates, to recover $8 million of workers’ superannuation entitlements from companies which engaged in phoenix behaviour.

The ATO said that a network of labour-hire companies in Victoria and South Australia had been employing seasonal fruit picking and meat packing workers, who weren’t receiving their superannuation.

“Phoenix behaviour involves the deliberate liquidation of companies to avoid paying superannuation obligations as well as to avoid other tax liabilities and to avoid paying creditors and suppliers,” said the ATO.

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Fewer SMSF auditors doing more SMSF audits

ATO SMSF statistics show that fewer SMSF auditors are performing more SMSF audits, following from the registration of SMSF auditors with ASIC.

SMSF concentration among SMSF Auditors

In the 2009 tax year 38.5% of SMSF auditors audited 5 or less super funds, by 2013 this was down to 17.2%. Given that the number of SMSFs have increase these audits have been spread over the other ranges, with SMSF auditors auditing 5-50 funds up from 44.7% to 54.4% and 51-250 funds up from 15.0% to 24.8%. SMSF auditors auditing more than 250 doubled from 1.8% to 3.6%.

Concentration in SMSF professionals, SMSF auditors

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SPAA endorses PJC proposals to lift financial advice standards

SPAA, Parliamentary Joint Committee (PJC) report on proposals to lift the professional, ethical and education standards in the financial services industryThe SMSF Professionals’ Association of Australia (SPAA) has endorsed the report by the Parliamentary Joint Committee (PJC) on proposals to lift the professional, ethical and education standards in the financial services industry.

Graeme Colley, SPAA’s Director of Technical and Professional Standards, said the association supports any positive moves that improve the professionalism and standards of financial advice, and the PJC report “is certainly a concrete step in that direction”.

“The report’s recommendations embody a common sense approach to lifting the standards of financial advice and protecting consumers.”

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Government may shorten time for super guarantee payments

Superannuation Guarantee

The Minister for Small Business, Bruce Billson, and the Assistant Treasurer, Josh Frydenberg, have announced the Government will consult on employers making Superannuation Guarantee contributions and PAYGW payments at the same time as salary and wages.

Currently superannuation guarantee only needs to be paid within 28 days of the end of the quarter. Pay As You Go Withholding (PAYGW) only needs to be paid quarterly or monthly for many employers.

The consultation will also examine “what support businesses may require to enable such a transformation in payments to government and superannuation funds.”

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Bitcoin is a CGT asset for SMSFs: ATO TD 2014/26

According to the ATO Bitcoins are a CGT asset, which may have tax implications for SMSFs which have invested in Bitcoins.

ATO Bitcoin Rulings

The ATO rulings on Bitcoin are:

  • TD 2014/25 Income tax: is bitcoin a ‘foreign currency’ for the purposes of Division 775 of the Income Tax Assessment Act 1997?
  • TD 2014/26 Income tax: is bitcoin a ‘CGT asset’ for the purposes of subsection 108-5(1) of the Income Tax Assessment Act 1997?
  • TD 2014/27 Income tax: is bitcoin trading stock for the purposes of subsection 70-10(1) of the Income Tax Assessment Act 1997?
  • TD 2014/28 Fringe benefits tax: is the provision of bitcoin by an employer to an employee in respect of their employment a property fringe benefit for the purposes of subsection 136(1) of the Fringe Benefits Tax Assessment Act 1986?

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SMSFD 2013/2: commutations & minimum pension payments

ATO SMSFD 2013/2: commutation, account based pension, minimum pension payment amountThe ATO discusses if a commutation of an account based pension counts against the minimum pension payment amount in the SMSF determination, SMSFD 2013/2: Self Managed Superannuation Funds: does a payment made as a result of a commutation of an account based pension count towards the minimum annual amount required to be paid under paragraph 1.06(9A)(a) of the Superannuation Industry (Supervision) Regulations 1994?,

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Super funds up 7.5% in 2014, says SuperRatings

SuperRatings, super funds return 7.5% in 2014Update: SuperRatings have released the final figures for 2014, see Balanced super fund investment option up 8.1% in 2014.

Superannuation funds achieved returns of 7.5% in the 2014 calendar year, an “impressive” result according to superannuation research company SuperRatings.

Just when markets looked like tanking and taking our super funds with them, Australian superannuation funds have defied logic and benefited from a Christmas share market rally to end the year with further gains in December.

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Abandon term ‘financial planner’ says PJC inquiry report

Parliamentary Joint Committee (PJC) on Corporations and Financial Services: inquiry into proposals to lift the professional, ethical and education standards in the financial services industry The Parliamentary Joint Committee (PJC) on Corporations and Financial Services has recommended protecting the terms ‘financial adviser’ while abandoning the term ‘financial planner’, not requiring the individual licensing of financial advisers and setting a bachelor degree as the minimum education level for advisers.

These recommendations, among others, are contained in the report of the PJC inquiry into proposals to lift the professional, ethical and education standards in the financial services industry.

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Australians more satisfied with SMSFs than large super funds

Australians more engaged and satisfied with SMSFs than large super fundsResearch has found that Australians are “more likely to be engaged and satisfied” with SMSFs than other superannuation funds.

The 2014/15 Superannuation Benchmarking Study by Engaged Marketing measured the ‘Net Promoter Score’ of large super fund brands and SMSFs. It found large super funds scored an average of -29%. This means that these funds, on average, had 29% more “detractors than promoters.” This compares to -5% for SMSFs. The worst performing fund scored -53%.

Engaged Marketing Managing Director Christopher Roberts said these results are a “wake-up call to super funds about the growing appeal of SMSFs.”

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