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 other handy step-by-step SMSF guides.

For information on more detailed aspects of SMSFs check out our main SMSFs section.

Set out below are all SuperGuide articles explaining SMSF basics.

Super rich tax? Looting SMSF accounts to fix the budget

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Note: This article is in response to recent claims that superannuation tax concessions are directed towards the ‘super rich’. If you are concerned about being unfairly targeted by the current tax reform process, ensure you make a submission before Monday 1 June 2015. The relevant links to the tax … [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 2012-2013 statistical review of SMSFs (released in December 2014). This report also contains data for the 2013-2014 year. The annual report for the 2013-2014 year will be available in December … [Read more...]

SMSFs outperform large funds over 7 years

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Note: The ATO publishes an annual report about SMSFs for each financial year. This article covers the latest SMSF performance data available from the ATO, as at February 2015. The ATO will provide updated performance data (for year ending 30 June 2014) in late 2015. A common argument put forward … [Read more...]

Oops! Top 10 SMSF boo-boos for 2014 financial year

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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 2014 (latest available as at February 2015). The next update, for compliance data up to 30 June 2015, will be available in late 2015. The ATO has published the top 10 … [Read more...]

Concessional contributions: What form do I use to claim a tax deduction?

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Q: I want to make a tax-deductible super contribution to my SMSF. I am trying to find the official form for claiming this type of deduction. Could you lead me to a link where I could find a generic S290-170 notice of intent to deduct? A: You can download the ‘Notice of intent to claim or vary a … [Read more...]

SMSFs: Is DIY super right for you?

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Running your own super fund is not necessarily a difficult task but you need to keep your wits about you. You may hear a lot a noise about DIY super, and sometimes from people who know nothing about super. Your best defence against bad advice is to start with your own research. The term, DIY … [Read more...]

Super for beginners: Top 10 must-know facts

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Nearly six years ago, in January 2009, we launched the SuperGuide website, and in March 2009 we published the first monthly SuperGuide newsletter. Since that time we have received thousands of questions, from our millions of visitors, on different aspects of superannuation. We try to represent as … [Read more...]

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...]

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...]