Can an SMSF be liable for foreign purchaser surcharge duty?

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John and Mary, a married couple, are members and individual trustees of their SMSF and their benefits in the fund represent 10% (John) and 90% (Mary) of the total value of the fund respectively. John is a foreign person for the purposes of the surcharge duty in NSW. Is the SMSF subject to surcharge duty […]

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Where is your trust deed?

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Document provider, SuperCentral, gets calls from SMSF clients weekly asking where their trust deeds are stored. Peter Townsend from SuperCentral said that he sometimes feels like he is running a detective agency. “We are often asked to provide a signed copy of a fund’s deed, usually at a time when it is of utmost importance, […]

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Superannuation death benefits are a minefield and arguably in need of simplification and reform

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It’s a fair question to ask: What happens to a family if there is not an estate plan in place and change/tragedy occurs? Who has control? Quite simply, your family’s estate plan is then in the hands of the Courts as they decide which assets go to which parties. It’s an involved process, and the […]

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What happens to a testator’s Will after divorce?

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Going through a divorce may upset the best laid out estate plans by partially or completely revoking a couple’s Wills. Jennifer and Thomas were married for 5 years before Jennifer filed for divorce earlier this year. They have 2 children under the age of 10 and previously executed a Will appointing each other as the […]

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When gifting your estate, why stop at grandchildren?

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Just how many generations of your descendants should you consider in your Will and is there an easy way to do it? No one has ever said that to me before. My client had just remarked: “I expect to live to be one hundred”. He was deadly serious. That may not have come as a […]

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Work test exempt contributions (aka ‘last drinks contributions’) details now released

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In the 2018 May Budget, the Government announced the proposal to allow individuals who are recent retirees and who have attained age 65, to make last chance voluntary contributions by providing a one year exemption from the work test. This proposal will apply from 1 July 2019 to the 2019/20 and subsequent financial years. As […]

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Can an email serve as a good notice under a contract?

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Electronic communication is certainly the dominant method of communication nowadays and it is tempting to believe that in today’s modern society sending a simple email as opposed to a formal letter will surely serve as a valid notice under a contract. Let’s consider an example. John is a tenant and his initial lease term is […]

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Can an SMSF lease residential property to a related party?

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“No” is probably the first answer that comes to mind but it is actually “maybe”, if we are to believe the full Federal Court in the judgement it handed down in the Aussiegolfa Pty Ltd (Trustee) v Commissioner of Taxation [2018] case last month. One of the issues the Court examined is whether the leasing of a […]

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No joy in pulling the ATO’s tail

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An SMSF trustee who objected to an ATO determination about a breach of a trustee’s covenant found himself disqualified as a trustee. George Hart was a trustee of the Hart Superannuation Fund, a self-managed fund set up in 2003. The auditor of the fund lodged a contravention report against the fund because George arranged for […]

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Can you really disentitle a person from your Will?

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Does violence towards the deceased end the relative’s chances of a successful claim against the Will? It doesn’t matter what sort of ‘family’ unit you have – nuclear, blended or a step-family – family relationships can be challenging and complicated. It’s usually not until a testator has passed away that their estate becomes disputed and […]

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