SMSF information regarding tenancies in your property & COVID-19

SMSF information regarding tenancies in your property & COVID-19

The economic impacts of the COVID-19 crisis are causing significant financial distress for many businesses and individuals.

If your SMSF has a property and a tenant in financial distress, you may be able to provide your tenant with rental relief under an agreed commercial arrangement. This may even be the case when the tenant is a related party or yourself.

Ordinarily, charging a tenant a price that is less than market value in an SMSF is usually a breach of superannuation laws. However, the ATO have provided guidance which allows SMSF landlords to provide for a reduction in or waiver of rent because of the financial impacts of the COVID-19.

For the 2019–20 and 2020–21 financial years, the ATO will not take action where an SMSF gives a tenant – who may also be a related party – a temporary rent reduction during this period.

What do you need to do?

There are some important things you should ensure are in place when you are providing a rent reduction to a tenant, especially when this is a related party.

  • Ensure the relief only applies to rent.
    • Any relief offered to a tenant can only relate to the rent component of the lease agreement. The ATO concession does not extend to other lease incentives.
  • Ensure that the reduction in rent is only temporary.
    • This means it should have an agreed period of time or agreed date where the rent is reviewed in light of the economic circumstances.
  • The financial difficulty faced by the tenant is linked to the financial impacts of COVID-19.
    • Any negotiated rent relief will need to be measured against the COVID-19 financial impact suffered by your tenant.
  • Clear arrangements which detail the amount of discount, waiver or deferral of the rent.
    • In evidencing that the rent relief is reasonable, it would be best practice if it is consistent with an approach taken by an arm’s length landlord.
  • Ensure you have proper documentation which allows your independent auditor to be satisfied that the temporary rent relief satisfies all of the above.
    • This may take the form of a signed minute, renewed lease agreement or anything deemed appropriate to amend the terms of the lease temporarily.
    • Even if you are both the tenant and landlord, the above should all be documented.

These are extraordinary times and the ATO is providing this guidance to allow SMSF trustees to be flexible and agile.

If trustees act in good faith in implementing a reasonable and measured reduction in rent because of the impacts of COVID-19 they should not fall foul of the law.

How can we help?

If you need assistance providing rental relief or whether this is the right action for you and your specific circumstances, please feel free to give us a call 02 9415 1511, and we can discuss in further detail.

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The super guarantee charge (SGC).

The super guarantee charge (SGC).

All you need to know about the super guarantee charge and how to ensure compliance and avoid penalties.

What is the SGC? Super Guarantee Charge

To explain this simply the super guarantee is a compulsory amount that an employer must pay into their employee’s chosen super fund as part of their employment conditions. The employer has 28 days after the end of each quarter to make this payment.   If the employer fails to pay the employee’s super by the due date, then this is when the Super Guarantee Charge is applied.

The SGC is a charge incurred if you don’t pay the minimum amount for your employee into the correct fund by the due date. The charge is non tax-deductible and calculated to include the following;

  • Super guarantee (including any choice liability)
  • Interest on the above amounts (currently 10%)
  • An administration fee of $20 per employee, per quarter

You must report and rectify any missed payment and lodge an SGC statement by the due date and pay the SGC to the Australian Tax Office (ATO).

If you pay your super guarantee late, you may be able to use the late payment rules either to offset the SGC or to carry forward the amount as a pre-payment of a future contribution for the same employee. However, you must still lodge an SGC statement and pay the balance of the SGC to the ATO.

Please note the following dates;

Super Guarantee reporting and payment due dates;

Quarter Period SG Reporting & Payment Date to the Employee’s Super Fund
1 1 July – 30 September 28 October
2 1 October – 31 December 28 January
3 1 January – 31 March 28 April
4 1 April – 30 June 28 July

If you don’t pay the minimum amount by the above reporting and payment dates you will need to adhere to the SGC schedule lodgement and payment due dates as below;

Quarter Period SGC Payment & Lodgement with the ATO by the following dates
1 1 July – 30 September 28 November
2 1 October – 31 December 28 February
3 1 January – 31 March 28 May
4 1 April – 30 June 28 August

With the implementation of data matching, single touch payroll and generally the ATO being more active in this area noncompliance will be easier for the ATO to discover.

For more on the above please click here or get in touch with your PrimeAccountant on 02 9415 1511 or email reception@primeadvisory.com.au

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Retirement on your mind?

Retirement on your mind?

As you saw in our previous month’s client video with Steve Fairall, he’s been retired for 2 years and it looks pretty good! Steve says, “there was a stage when we had 4 young kids, we wanted to provide them with a good life in Sydney, help them grow and get well educated whilst also setting ourselves up for the future.”

But there’s a lot of work and strategy that goes into a financially effective retirement.

Let me explain,

As you would know if you meet certain requirements you can add up to $25,000 per year into your superannuation fund as a concessional contribution and up to $100,000 can be added as a non-concessional contribution each year. 1

During the accumulation phase of your superannuation, contributing to your fund can ensure that you will have ample funds held tax effectively during your pension phase. Most people think after you are 65 years old and no longer working that you are unable to make voluntary contributions. However, this is where the strategy comes into play.

It is called the “downsizer contribution”, put simply if you are aged 65 or older and you have owned your principal place of residence for at least 10 years you may be eligible. This means you can make a tax-free contribution into your super of $300,000 and as a couple you can contribute $600,000 irrespective of having a total superannuation balance in excess $1.6 million.

Prime Wealth’s Senior Advisor Angus Rodgers says, “Where it applies, this is an awesome strategy to ensure retirement funds are maximised and invested tax-effectively.”

Still confused or want to know more about this strategy, the tax and social security implications talk to our advisors today on (02) 9415 1511 or email us.

1 This contribution will be considered at 30 June of the financial year in which the contribution is made, when the total superannuation balance is recalculated.

This strategy is not for everyone and has been provided as general information only and prepared without taking into account your financial position, objectives, and needs. You should consider its appropriateness and seek financial advice before making any financial decisions.

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How the ‘gig economy’ has changed work and the economy.

How the ‘gig economy’ has changed work and the economy.

Firstly, you’re probably wondering what this whole “gig economy” means.  It’s actually a buzz phrase, first coined at the height of the financial crisis when a number of workers started ‘gigging’ and working many casual jobs to stay afloat financially. Today, it is more recognised with people freelancing who are seeking more flexible and diversified work and working hours especially within the rapidly growing digital platforms.   These platforms allow freelancers to directly connect with potential employers to find employment.  Hence the term ‘gig workers”.  Great examples of these digital platforms are companies such as Uber, Airtasker and Deliveroo who are changing  traditional markets.

With this growing trend legislation also needs to be updated to reflect these abovementioned changes and it has, but it has been slow. Internationally, we have seen disagreement over gig workers classifications as either ‘employees’ or ‘independent contractors’. The most recent ruling by Australia’s Fair Work Ombudsman in June 2019 found Uber drivers to be independent contractors because there is not “an obligation for an employee to perform work when it is demanded by the employer”, as reported by Stuart Ridley.

A survey commissioned by the Victorian government published in June 2019, found 7.1% of Australians reportedly used a digital platform such as Airtasker (34.8%), Uber (22.7%), Freelancer (11.8%), Uber Eats (10.8%), Deliveroo (8.2%) for work. This report further found 64.8% of gig economy workers to access work via one platform opposed to 35.2% who accessed work through more than one platform and 11.4% who are registered on four or more platforms.

This however has forced changed to be made in the definition of work reviewing the definition of ‘casual’ work to ensure legislation applies to capture gig workers under workplace health and safety, improve superannuation rights and ensure protection under Australia’s industrial relations system. Simona Scattagalia Cartago says, “Getting a real measure of this global phenomenon is not easy, especially when some may underestimate its true size by considering only gig work as a primary source of income. In the US, more than 35% of the workforce seems to be participating in the gig economy, and that number is expected to jump to 43% by 2020.”

This however is also causing issues regarding superannuation. The Association of Superannuation Funds of Australia (ASFA) noted almost a quarter of self-employed people to have no super and less likely to meet the $450 per month earning threshold with any one employer as recorded in February 2018. It has been suggested a new ‘dependant contractor’ category to be made, ditching the earning threshold.

Further taxation issues have arisen from this new gig economy with the Australian Tax Office (ATO) updating guidelines for people earning income via digital platforms to also include ride sharing, short-term property or room rentals or skills on demand, as changed in June 2019. The ATO warn they will be matching data earnings from such above-mentioned platforms.

If you want to know more about how to navigate through these gig economy changes, please get in touch with the team via email or phone us 02 9415 1511. Speak soon!

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Thinking About Topping Up Your Super This Financial Year?

Thinking About Topping Up Your Super This Financial Year?

With the end of financial year fast approaching, it’s important to plan ahead to ensure you’re aware of key processing cut-off times that apply to your investment and superannuation platform accounts.

All reasonable efforts will be made to process your request before 30 June 2019 providing the request is complete and valid. However, if you are considering make a superannuation contribution (pre or post tax) you should be aware that estimated cut of times start as early as Friday 14th June. The cut-off times and dates are a guide and are subject to change depending on volumes and the turnaround times.

Please take this into account as you plan for the EOFY as platforms are unable to backdate transactions.

If you have any questions contact your Financial Advisor to begin the process as soon as possible.

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