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.

SMSF pension: Can I still make super contributions?

Q: I am 62 years of age and retired. I have recently commenced an account-based pension from my SMSF. Can I still make non-concessional contributions to that fund?A: I have divided your question into three parts.Can someone who is 62 years of age and retired, continue to make super … [Read more...]

Super for beginners: Top 10 must-know facts

Nearly eight 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...]

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

Q: I want to make a tax-deductible super contribution to my super fund, in this case, a SMSF, although I also have a super account with an industry fund. 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 … [Read more...]

SMSF advice: Is your accountant still allowed to help your fund?

Being the trustee of a self-managed super fund can be a challenging task at times, and most people need a bit of help at certain stages when running a SMSF, particularly when a decision, or strategy, requires financial advice. Traditionally, many Australians have turned to their accountant for … [Read more...]

SMSF investment: Where can I find information about SMSF borrowing?

Q: I’ve just finished reading DIY Super For Dummies and found it really helpful. What interested me was the borrowing options for SMSFs. We already own a property in our fund and we are looking at using borrowings for financing our next fund purchase. In your book you mention a joint venture to … [Read more...]

SMSF investment: Can my DIY super fund invest in direct property?

Q: I am interested in setting up a self-managed fund. I would like to know more about the rules for purchasing property in a super fund, and whether it is possible to use borrowings to do so.A: A self-managed (DIY) super fund can invest in all types of property, including residential, … [Read more...]

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

Q: I own a residential unit as an investment property as a personal investment. 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 … [Read more...]

SMSF basics: To DIY or not to DIY?

Q: Six months ago, my wife and I started a self-managed super fund. We pay a flat fee to have it administered on our behalf. All the assets in the fund at this stage are my rollovers. I am also in the PSS (a public sector fund) and my wife has a small amount in an industry fund, where she … [Read more...]

SMSF basics: Joining the DIY super club

Note: This article contains the latest statistics available as at April 2016 (for statistics up to December 2015). We update this article with the latest statistics every 6 months or so.Australia’s DIY super fund sector has emerged as the most financially powerful sector in the superannuation … [Read more...]

SMSF basics: Can my DIY super fund borrow money?

The general rule is that your super fund can’t borrow money, although like all rules the ‘no borrowing’ rule has some exceptions. SMSF trustees need to understand the difference between direct borrowing and indirect borrowing and the special rules that apply to each exception.A relaxation of the … [Read more...]

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

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 March 2016 (for data up to December 2015).The latest ATO statistics on SMSFs (representing SMSF … [Read more...]

SMSFs surge towards 570,000 controlling $600B in assets

Note: We regularly update this article with the latest data on superannuation funds issued by the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA). This article contains the latest statistics available, as of March 2016 (for data as at December 2015).Close to 600,000 self-managed super funds … [Read more...]