The ATO website is probably the best place to go for answers to most questions about Self-Managed Superannuation Funds (SMSF). The ATO regulates SMSFs, so you’ll be getting it straight from the horse’s mouth.

Our website is also a rich source of SMSF information. Here are some FAQs about SMSFs. Please click on them to view the answers. Feel free to contact us if your question isn’t answered below.

Questions and Answers – Click on the question to reveal the answer

1. Does the monthly $60 fee include ALL fees (including annual audit and submission of tax return)?

The $60 fee includes the fees for accounting, tax and audit functions if there’s cash investments only. Remember the SMSF will pay other fees like bank fees, the super levy charge and tax on contributions.

2. What is the difference between the $60 and the $100 service?

We charge a lower accounting and administration fee for a simple fund (with just bank accounts) than we do for a more complex fund that’s investing in property, share derivatives and FX.

3. I am starting an SMSF and would like to know the benefits of using a Corporate Trustee as opposed to Individual Trustees?

Most funds we set up are with individual trustees, and per the ATO statistics, around 80% of all funds have individual trustees. If you want to purchase property using a bank loan, the bank might be insistent on a Corporate Trustee structure, as this is their preference. We also discuss pros and cons of using a corporate trustee structure on this page. However, this is your choice who to use as a Trustee.

4. Do you require all original docs? Many of these are now provided by e-commerce or over the web, is that an issue?

You keep all the original documents. We prefer to receive statements as soft copy so that we can load them directly into our accounting system to produce your SMSF’s annual accounts and tax return. This also improves accuracy because we don’t have to re-key your data.

5. Are the originals retained at your office or returned once the accounts are completed?

We have a paper copy and a soft copy of your accounts at our office. All source documents, e.g. bank statements etc. would be kept by you as a Trustee of the SMSF. We require copies only, and the best option is a soft copy or scanned copy emailed to us.

6. We’re thinking about including overseas listed equities in our super to get an international flavor and add some diversity to our investment. Would this have any cost issues? We’re talking major markets, LSE, NYSE for example. Our idea was to go for no more than 20 overseas investments, which may give rise to 50 or so transactions.

There’s a fixed price for any investments you choose in your Fund. If there are only a few transactions, a scanned copy of a statement will be all that’s needed, but we prefer soft copies, especially with higher volumes. Most providers will supply you with a soft copy to download.

7. I see you also have a pre-pack SMSF setup, is any of the above NOT COVERED in the Trust deed you would normally setup? I’m thinking particularly about the overseas investments.

The Trust Deed and Investment Strategy that we’ll supply you with when the SMSF is set up are fairly wide. They cover local and international investments and include shares, options, CFDs, property etc. We give you a template in Word format, so you can edit and adjust it on the rare occasions that it doesn’t cover something you’d like to invest in.

8. We are currently in the accumulation phase but my wife and I will our preservation age in the coming year. What impact, cost wise, will the establishment of an Annual pension (1 payment per annum x 2 pensions) have?

We have a template that Trustees can use to note down the amount allocated to a pension. From an accounting and tax point of view the only difference is that you are not taxed at 15% but at 0%. So it actually makes our job easier. There’s no extra cost to set up a pension or to draw a pension. Our fees are fixed. You do the draw down and generally draw down 4% of the pension’s opening balance per year.

9. Is the SMSF called “ABC Family Super Fund” or “The trustee for ABC Family Super Fund”?

The name of your SMSF is “ABC Family Super Fund”. Whenever the ATO writes to you, they address their correspondence to the Trustees of the SMSF. The Trustees are the Managers or custodians of the SMSF and responsible for running it, hence the name the ATO uses: “The trustee for ABC Family Super Fund”.

Questions about Superannuation Warehouse

1. What does Superannuation Warehouse do?

We are accounting & taxation professionals who specialize in SMSFs. We set up the SMSFs under the Trustee’s instructions and perform the annual accounting, tax and compliance duties for the Trustee’s SMSF.

2. Is my money safe in your hands?

Yes. We don’t touch your money; we handle the administrative side only. You are the Trustee. As such, you control your own funds and make the investment decisions.

3. Do I have to use a Financial Planner?

You don’t need a Financial Planner to operate and run an SMSF. Neither do you need one to buy shares, to open up a bank account or to invest in property. However, a Financial Planner may be required when opening up certain types of investment accounts (a Separate Managed Account for example). Superannuation Warehouse does not offer financial planning services.

4. What if I want to close down the SMSF?

With us you can wind down the SMSF and transfer your Super balance to a retail fund or another SMSF. You can also transfer your SMSF to another administrator or accountant (we work hard to make sure you don’t!). As Trustees are responsible for the SMSF, the choice of the Fund’s administrator and service provider rests entirely with you.

5. What about insurance?

Trustees decide which insurer is best tailored to the needs of the Fund. You can pay life insurance premiums from your SMSF in much the same way that you would from a retail super fund. The group policy we have for members of SMSF’s covers life and disability insurance.

6. Can I claim the Government Co-Contribution in my SMSF and how do I claim the Co-Contribution?

Short answer: You don’t have to do anything, you will receive the co-contribution directly from the ATO.

Long answer: When we set up your SMSF we note your names and TFNs as Members of the SMSF. The TFN lets the ATO know who the members are. Once you’ve submitted your personal tax return, the ATO will be aware of your personal income. It then looks for personal Superannuation Contributions on the SMSF tax return. These are also set out per Member in the tax return with an ABN. The ATO then matches these two returns up. If you are eligible for the co-contribution, they will pay you. It’s therefore in your best interest to submit your personal tax return and the SMSF tax return ASAP in order to receive the co-contribution. Lastly, the ATO will send you a cheque for this co-contribution. If the SMSF bank details are entered on the Tax Office system for your SMSF, the ATO will deposit the co-contribution into your bank and send you an advice. If you’d like Superannuation Warehouse to link your bank account to the SMSF Tax Account, just send us the bank account details and we’ll set it up.

7. Can I use my Super to invest in property?

Yes you can. See the section on Property investment (click here), for an explanation on how to borrow in your SMSF for property investments.

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