Trustees running out of time to be compliant as 30 June deadline looms

SMSF trustees need to act quickly to ensure their funds comply with the new superannuation rules before they take effect on 1 July 2017.

The SMSF Association is urging any trustee who has any questions about how the legislation will impact on their fund to quickly seek specialist advice before the 30 June deadline.

Association CEO John Maroney says: “Time is running out. The changes to superannuation that became law late last year mean planning for the end of this financial year assumes a higher priority compared with previous years.

“Trustees need to make sure they are fully aware of all the issues flowing from the changes, and the best way to do this to get advice from an SMSF Association independently endorsed specialist.

“Only by working closely with an SMSF specialist will trustees be able to have the confidence to know their fund is compliant with the new legislation.”

Maroney says trustees need to be reminded that lower concessional and non-concessional contribution caps take effect from 1 July, so they only have until the end of this financial year to take full advantage of the higher caps.

“The introduction of the $1.6 million transfer balance cap is an issue where many trustees will require specialist advice about whether to remove any excess from their pension account, to retain any excess in the accumulation phase or even to rebalance super holdings between spouses.

“An SMSF specialist will also help trustees prepare the essential detailed minutes regarding the commutation of any balances over the $1.6 million cap before 30 June.

“The removal of the tax-exempt status from earnings on fund investments for those using transition to retirement pensions is another change where specialist advice could prove invaluable to trustees.

“Now is also the time to create an action plan with your SMSF specialist to gain access to the complex capital gains tax (CGT) relief afforded to funds affected by the transfer balance cap and transition to retirement changes.

“The CGT relief rules allow funds to reset the cost base of assets affected by the law changes before the end of the financial year. This is a valuable but one-off opportunity for SMSF members to minimise the impact of the law changes on their retirement savings.”

Maroney says the Government made few changes to superannuation in this year’s budget, giving trustees and their specialist advisors the opportunity to ensure they are fully across last year’s changes.

“Remember, there is only about five weeks to go until the end of the financial year. Getting the right specialist advice now could help trustees to set up their SMSFs in the most efficient way when the new regime takes effect from 1 July.”