An unsent text message is upheld in court as the equivalent of the deceased’s will!
A recent case in the Queensland Supreme Court has accepted an unsent text message as an official Will. Whilst this may seem highly unusual, it is a good reminder for all of us to ensure that our
affairs are in order, and the proper documentation is in place.
Did you know that a Will does not necessarily determine where your superannuation benefit will be paid in the event of your death?
The Trustees of a self-managed superannuation fund (SMSF) are actually bound by the Trust Deed and the legislation governing SMSF’s, rather than the wishes of the deceased as set out in their Will.
It is therefore prudent to ensure that the Trustees are informed in writing as to a member’s wishes as to how their death benefit will be paid. This can take the form of a Binding Death Benefit Nomination, provided that is allowed under the SMSF Trust Deed.
If you are unsure as to whether you have communicated your wishes to your SMSF as to how to pay your death benefit, you should consider getting some advice from a professional in this area.
Lodgement Dates for Super Funds – 31 October is nearly here!
Generally, the lodgement date for an SMSF is 15th May of the following year, if the Fund is lodged through a tax agent.
However, this date is brought forward to 31 October if the Fund is lodged by the member or if it was late the previous year.
So, a Fund that missed the 15 May 2017 lodgement date for the 2016 Annual Return will generally be required to be lodged by 31 October 2017.
If your Fund is new, then the date is 28 February of the following year.
It is a good idea to check with your accountant to make sure that you have all your information available so that you meet the Fund deadline to avoid late lodgement fines!
New Requirements for the 2017 SMSF Annual (Tax) Return
New Requirements for the 2017 SMSF Annual (Tax) Return - Funds with Limited Recourse Borrowing Arrangements
There are new disclosures requirements for the Fund’s 2017 Return that will affect your Fund if it has entered in to a Limited Recourse Borrowing Arrangement (LRBA) at any time before 1 July 2017.
The 2017 Return now requires specific disclosure of any related party borrowings, and also of any personal guarantees given by fund members to their lenders in entering the LRBA.
As this is the first time that I have been required to report on member guarantees, if they apply to your Fund please provide these documents to your accountant or directly to me in time for the Fund’s 2017 audit.
The good news is the recently announced ATO extension of the lodgement deadline to 30 June this year.
This means that if your fund annual return has not been lodged there is still a month left for It to be completed.
With all the recent changes to superannuation, SMSF accountants, advisers and auditors are extremely busy preparing themselves and their clients for the changes to come in on 1 July 2017.
Please refer to previous Super News updates for details of these changes.
If you have any questions or concerns you should first contact your accountant.
Last month I looked at upcoming changes to concessional, or pre-tax, contributions limits.
From 1 July 2017, there will also be changes to member non-concessional (after-tax) contributions.
Currently, the limit on member non-concessional (after-tax) contributions is $180,000 within a financial year.
From 1 July 2017, this limit reduces to $100,000 per year.
Please note that if your total superannuation member balance is expected to be $1.5 million or more at 30 June 2017, special rules will apply and you should seek advice from your financial planner or licensed accountant before making further member contributions.
As the 2017 financial year draws to a close and planning for the 2018 financial year commences, please be aware of the changes that will apply to your concessional (pre-tax) contribution limits.
A concessional, or pre-tax, contribution can be made by an employer, a self employed member of a super fund, or an employee who salary sacrifices part of their salary/wages to super.
Currently, the limit on concessional (pre-tax) contributions is $30,000 ($35,000 for people 50 years old and over) within a financial year.
From 1 July 2017, the government will lower the annual concessional contributions cap to $25,000 for all members.
New $1.6 million Transfer Cap Balance for Pensions is drawing near!
If you are drawing a pension and have, or are very close to having, an account balance of $1.6 million in your fund at 30 June 2017 you need to pay attention.
Please note that this applies to an individual member pension account of greater than $1.6 million, rather than a fund where total net assets exceed $1.6 million.
From 1 July 2017 the amount of your pension assets in your fund (or funds) that exceed $1.6 million will need to be transferred back in to an accumulation account, or paid to you personally (if you meet a condition of release).
You will need to talk to your accountant and/or financial adviser as to what you should do from 1 July 2017.