With another financial year coming to an end, it’s time for you as a self-managed super fund (SMSF) trustee to review your funds and finalise your annual tasks.

These tips will help you prepare you and your SMSF for tax time:

1. Maximise your concessional contributions

For most people, concessional contributions may be an effective way of building your superannuation. You just need to make sure you don’t go over the concessional contributions cap for the financial year.

Concessional contributions include:

  • Your employer’s super contribution;
  • Any amount your employer contributes to your super through salary sacrifice; and
  • Any personal superannuation contribution that you’re eligible for and claim as a personal income tax deduction.

2. Claim tax deductions for your personal superannuation contributions

If you’re employed, you can generally make personal tax-deductible concessional contributions to your super, even if your employer doesn’t offer salary sacrifice arrangements.

If you’re self-employed and receive an income, you can also make personal tax-deductible contributions regardless of the salary or wages you earn.

So if you’re under 75, you can claim tax deductions for personal contributions to your SMSF.

If you want to claim a tax deduction for personal super contributions, you’ll need to submit a valid ‘Notice of intent to claim or vary a deduction for personal super contributions’ form to your fund and receive an acknowledgement of a valid notice in writing from your SMSF.

3. Keep your non-concessional contributions below the cap

You can make non-concessional contributions to your super from your after-tax income. These contributions won’t be taxed in your super fund.

You’ll just need to make sure your non-concessional contributions are below the cap. The annual limit on non-concessional contributions is $100,000 a year. If you’re eligible, you can bring forward up to 3 future years’ worth of contributions depending on your total superannuation balance (TSB), increasing the cap up to $300,000 in 1 year.

You’ll also need to make sure your non-concessional contributions don’t go over the set cap for your TSB. Here’s a guide to the non-concessional caps:

Total superannuation balance (TSB) just prior to financial year
Standard non-concessional cap for financial year
Bring forward cap available in financial year
Less than $1.4m
$100,000
$300,000 (3 years)
At least $1.4m but less than $1.5m
$100,000
$200,000 (2 years)
At least $1.5m but less than $1.6m
$100,000
$100,000 (no bring forward)
$1.6m or more
Nil
Nil

Source: FirstTech

4. Make sure you meet the work test if you’re over 651

If you’re 65 or over, you’ll need to make sure you meet the work test before you make a personal contribution to your SMSF.

To meet the work test, you need to have worked for at least 40 hours within 30 consecutive days in the financial year you make the personal contribution.

Once you reach 75, keep in mind you generally won’t be able to make a personal super contribution, regardless of your work status.

If you’re a recent retiree aged 65 or over, you can use a work test exemption to keep making personal super contributions for the financial year after you last met the work test, provided your total superannuation balance just prior to the year of contribution is less than $300,000.

You can check the age restrictions on SMSF contributions at the ATO website.

5. Make a downsizer contribution

If you signed a sales contract after 1 July 2018, you can contribute up to $300,000 of the sale proceeds from downsizing your home to your superannuation.

To be eligible:

  • You need to be at least 65 at the time of your contribution
  • You need to have owned your home for at least 10 years
  • The contract for the sale for your home needs to have been exchanged on or after 1 July 2018

Keep in mind a downsizer contribution can only be made once.

If you want to make a downsizer contribution:

  • It needs to be up to $300,000 ($300,000 x 2 for couples)
  • It needs to be made within 90 days of settlement
  • Concessional and non-concessional caps don’t apply
  • Age limits and the work test don’t apply

6. Don’t exceed the transfer balance cap

There’s a $1.6m transfer balance cap on the super amount you can transfer over to the tax-free retirement phase.

Super balances above this cap need to either be held in an “accumulation phase”, where earnings are taxed at up to 15%, or removed from your super, where assessable earnings are taxed at your marginal tax rate.

7. Review your current pension arrangements

If you start an account-based pension, you need to take out at least the minimum pension amount during the financial year. If you don’t, the earnings you make on all the assets supporting your pension may be taxed at 15%, rather than being completely exempt. Additionally, the account-based pension will be taken to have ceased at the start of the income year for income tax purposes, and any income received during the year will be subject to assessability at marginal tax rates.

The minimum payment is a percentage of your pension account balance as at 1 July each financial year, and is fixed for the year. If you start a pension during the year, it’s a percentage of the account balance as of the start date, and pro rata based on the number of days left in the financial year. If your pension account started on or after 1 June, the minimum pension amount is set at 0.

Age
Minimum Pension Percentage Factor from 1/7/19
Less than 65
2%
65 to 74
2.5%
75 to 79
3%
80 to 84
3.5%
85 to 89
4.5%
90 to 94
5.5%
95 plus
7%

If you’re paying a transition to retirement pension, you also need to make sure you make the minimum payment (these are the same as for account-based pensions).

Unless you’ve met a full condition of release, or have enough unrestricted non-preserved benefits in your pension, you need to make sure your pension payment for this financial year doesn’t exceed 10% of your balance as at 1 July 2019 (or the start date if commenced this financial year).

It’s also important to make sure you meet any extra conditions listed in your trust deed, or pension terms that apply to your pension.

8. Update the market valuation of your assets

For assets that have a quoted market price, such as listed stocks and managed funds, it’s a simple process to value your assets. But if your SMSF has assets that are unlisted, such as real estate and collectables, it’s a good idea to organise the relevant assessments early.

While you may not need to organise external valuations every year, superannuation law requires you as the SMSF trustee to determine the market value for each year’s set of financial statements, and to be able to justify your valuation.

9. Claim the spouse contribution tax offset if you’re eligible

You may be able to claim a tax offset if you paid a super contribution for your spouse and they earned less than $40,000 during the financial year.

The maximum spouse tax offset you can claim is $540.

You can find out more about the spouse contribution tax offset at the ATO website.

10. Review your current investment strategy

It’s important to review your investment strategy each financial year. SMSF trustees are required by law to review their investment strategy regularly. Doing so every 6 and 12 months is a good idea.

Reviewing your fund performance to plan and revisit your financial goals will help you determine if your goals are still relevant and achievable.

Talking to your adviser can help you when you’re reviewing your investment strategy. Superannuation can be complex, and the investment landscape is in a constant state of change.

Reviewing your SMSF’s strategies with a trusted and accredited adviser can provide you with insights and opportunities, particularly if you’re transitioning from accumulation to retirement phases and planning your estate.

It’s important to speak to an SMSF specialist adviser for tax advice on your SMSF. Our SMSF Specialist Team can help you find an adviser near you. You can call us on 1800 138 363.

Things you should know

1 The Treasury Laws Amendment (More Flexible Superannuation) Bill 2020 which is currently going through passage in Parliament proposes to increase this age to 67 years old.
 
  • This page is intended to provide general information only and does not take into account your individual objectives, financial situation or needs. Taxation considerations are general and based on present taxation laws and may be subject to change. You should seek independent, professional tax advice before making any decision based on this information.
  • Commonwealth Bank is also not a registered tax (financial) adviser under the Tax Agent Services Act 2009 and you should seek tax advice from a registered tax agent or a registered tax (financial) adviser if you intend to rely on this information to satisfy the liabilities or obligations or claim entitlements that arise, or could arise, under a taxation law.