January 2, 2020 @ 5:30 am - January 2, 2025 @ 5:30 am$275
The key to specialising in self-managed superannuation funds (SMSFs) is to understand how legislation interacts and how the various regulators of the superannuation industry interpret the law. While there are many pieces of Commonwealth and state legislation that is relevant to superannuation, two Acts and their associated Regulations, are critical to the ongoing management and taxation of superannuation funds, and by extension SMSFs.
The Superannuation Industry (Supervision) Act 1993 (Cth) and Superannuation Industry (Supervision) Regulations 1994 (Cth) were introduced for the prudential management and supervision of superannuation funds, and the Income Tax Assessment Act 1997 (Cth) and Income Tax Assessment Regulations 1997 (Cth) provide the associated tax regime, applicable to all superannuation funds. It is critical to understand each superannuation fund, including each SMSF, is a taxpayer in their own right. In the context of SMSFs, it is the SMSF as a whole which is the taxpayer, not the individual members of the SMSF. This is important to keep in mind when determining the tax treatment of income derived by and expenses incurred on behalf of the SMSF.
To fully appreciate the interaction between these two key pieces of legislation, it is beneficial to understand the Australian superannuation and retirement system and the pathway to the current situation.
Australia’s superannuation (retirement income) system has a three-pillar approach:
- government-funded means-tested age pension
- compulsory savings via employer award and superannuation guarantee (SG) contributions
- voluntary savings via superannuation and other sources.
SMSFs are only one of a number of superannuation fund structures available for individuals to accumulate their retirement benefits.
This module sets the scene for the regulation of SMSFs by providing a summary of the key historical events associated with our superannuation system as well as identifying the purpose of superannuation. It also introduces the key concepts behind the definition of an SMSF.
On completing this module, participants should be able to:
- identify the key pieces of legislation that govern the regulation of SMSFs
- provide an overview of the significant events that have occurred in the history of superannuation in Australia
- describe the purpose of superannuation
- define an SMSF
- identify who can and cannot be a trustee and member of an SMSF.