SMSF basics

SMSF basics is a plain-English introduction to the world of DIY super. You can discover easy-to-understand information and popular questions on how self-managed super funds work, such as: how to set up a SMSF, how to run a SMSF, how much a SMSF costs and handy step-by-step SMSF guides. For information on more detailed aspects of SMSFs check out our main DIY Super section.

Set out below are all SuperGuide articles explaining SMSF basics.

SMSFs must call Australia home

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‘When I retire, I am going to travel…’ is a common phrase when Australians dream about life after work. For many Australian retirees, overseas travel features prominently in their retirement plans. If you're a SMSF trustee however, and you intend to travel for extended periods, or even live outside … [Read more...]

SMSF trustee declaration: a quick guide

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When setting up your SMSF, you must sign a SMSF trustee declaration that confirms you understand the responsibilities and duties involved in running a SMSF. In late 2012, the ATO made 3 significant changes to the SMSF trustee declaration, reflecting significant changes in the super laws affecting … [Read more...]

Oops! Top 10 SMSF boo-boos

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Note: Every year, the ATO publishes the top compliance mistakes made by SMSF trustees. This article contains data up to 30 June 2013. The next update, for compliance data up to 30 June 2014, will be available in early 2015. The ATO has published the top 10 compliance mistakes that SMSF trustees … [Read more...]

SMSF investment: Three most popular asset classes, and the rest (updated)

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Note: We regularly update this article with the latest data on self-managed superannuation funds (SMSFs) released by the Australian Taxation Office. This article contains the latest data available up to June 2014 (for data as at March 2014). Each quarter the ATO releases self-managed super fund … [Read more...]

Do you fit the latest profile of a ‘typical’ SMSF trustee?

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Note: We regularly update this article with the latest data on self-managed superannuation funds (SMSFs) issued by the Australian Taxation Office. This article contains the latest data available as at June 2014 (for data up to March 2014). The latest ATO statistics on SMSFs (representing SMSF … [Read more...]

Are SMSF audits too expensive? (updated figures)

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Note: Every year, the ATO publishes the average audit fees incurred by SMSFs. This Q&A contains data for financial year ending 30 June 2012 (latest available as at June 2014). We have retained all comments from earlier versions of article. The next update, for compliance data up to 30 June 2013, … [Read more...]

SMSF basics: Can I run two super funds? (2 questions)

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1. Running two DIY super funds Q: My wife is 58 and retired and she has her own self-managed super fund, where she has rolled over her super funds from various employers. She plans to start her SMSF pension soon. After starting her pension, could she also start another SMSF fund? A person can … [Read more...]

SMSF basics: Can my DIY super fund buy my residential investment property?

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Q: I own a unit as an investment property. I would like to keep this unit as long as possible. The unit is a safe income stream and a safe haven against market uncertainty. However, if I have to sell it later, I won’t be able to put the money into my SMSF because of the work test (as it is virtually … [Read more...]

SMSF confidential: the inside story on DIY super funds

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Note: The ATO publishes an annual report about SMSFs for each financial year. This article covers the ATO’s 2011-2012 statistical review of SMSFs (released in December 2013). This report also contains data for the 2012-2013 year. The annual report for the 2012-2013 year will be available in early … [Read more...]