Mr Taxman
Change the way you feel about taxes.
Get informed and discover what the taxman doesn't want you to know.
Sharing it with Australia, Mr Taxman is a regular Woman’s Day columist and TV finance commentator
  • click to visit Mr Taxman on Twitter
  • click to visit Mr Taxman on FaceBook
  • rss

Do I have enough for my own SMSF?

Dec 12, 2012

I am considering purchasing an investment property (residential unit) through my self-managed super fund. I have heard about the tax concessions available through the SMSF, but with superannuation of just over $100K, I’d like to know if the costs involved in setting-up the SMSF (and running it) will be worth going ahead with. 

Whilst SMSFs can be great, they are not ideal for everyone.  Before you establish one you should think carefully about some of the following issues:

  • if you want to purchase property via a SMSF, the initial establishment cost can be up to $3,000;
  • the administrative obligations may be onerous.  They include arranging an annual audit of your fund, keeping appropriate records and reporting to the ATO on the fund’s operation;
  • the annual charges for administration, accounting, tax and audit range can be expensive and between $2,000 and $3,000 for an average sized fund;
  • you need to understand the responsibilities and requirements of being an SMSF trustee as you are responsible for ensuring the fund complies with its trust deed and superannuation laws; and
  • you need to manage the fund’s investments in the best interests of fund members including for the sole  purpose of providing retirement benefits and keeping them separate from the personal and business affairs of fund members.

There is no rule of thumb as to how much that you need to have in super to cover the costs of running a SMSF, but I feel that a minimum of $150,000 is required to make it a worthwhile exercise.

As fund balances grow, property is becoming a very popular asset class in super funds.  According to the Australian Taxation Office, real property within SMSFs in has grown from $15.2 billion in 2003/04 to $61.3 billion in September 2010.

Whilst super funds can gear up to 75% (dependent on the borrower’s restrictions), consideration should be made for falling asset values and restrict borrowing limits to no more than 50%.  This means that if you have $150,000 in super, you should only be looking at property worth no more than $300,000.

Aside from having enough funds to be able to buy a property, some other issues to consider before owning real property in a SMSF include:

  • you cannot live in the property owned by your SMSF for private purposes;
  • commercial properties can be leased to a related business entity but only if there is a written lease in place;
  • establishment and ongoing annual costs regarding administration of a SMSF will rise with having a property;
  • whether your super fund has an adequate diversification of assets
  • consideration of any liquidation of assets required should a member retire or die.

This article first appeared in the August 2011 issue of Your Investment Property Magazine www.yourinvestmentpropertymag.com.au. Copyright Key Media Pty Ltd 2011.

Tags: Accountant SydneyPropertyRetirementSMSFSuper

Author: Mr Taxman

Comments

Post a New Comment

Media Availability

Are you interested in booking Mr Taxman for a speaking engagement or requesting his viewpoints for an article?

comments-rhsLatest Comments

  • "I finish full time job in April and started to learn foreign currency trading. Attended a $5000 course and practiced in a $1000 account. Learned $200 by end of Month. Can I deduct the $5000..."

    By: jasmin at Oct 23, 2017 6:13AM

    Post: Marriage

  • "My names is Cathy i want to testify about the great spell caster called Priest Ade my husband and i have been married for 5 years now we don't have a child and the doctor told us i can't give birth..."

    By: Cathy at Oct 22, 2017 7:38PM

    Post: Marriage

  • "my husband of 6years left me just because i could not give him A child, i did all i could to make sure i give him a child, i even went to an extent of forcing him to have sex with me every night but..."

    By: carol at Oct 22, 2017 6:07AM

    Post: Marriage

  • "If i used a line of credit to purchase the shares, what documentation do I need to prove the loan was used for investments? Does it matter that I also have a home loan for a owner-occupied home? "

    By: Brad at Oct 18, 2017 9:02AM

    Post: Borrowing to buy shares

  • "HI Mr Taxman, I am part time UBER driver. Since my full time job salary is high and my wife is unemployed, can I get my wife buy a car and rent to me? Each week I pay part of my UBER income as car..."

    By: Peter at Oct 17, 2017 3:42AM

    Post: Marriage