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The 2016 SMSF trustee calendar

Olivia Long highlights the key dates trustees need to be aware of in 2016.

We all know how time-consuming being an SMSF trustee can be. The work involved can seem never-ending. Well what follows is a diary of SMSF events for 2016 that should help you plan for the year ahead – at least where it involves your SMSF. I hope it helps you.

February

It’s the new year – time for those resolutions. For SMSF trustees, reviewing your fund’s investment strategy and individual investments should top the list.

Questions to ask include:

  • What are your overall investment objectives?
  • What is your desired rate of return? Did your fund meet your target in 2015?
  • What is your fund/member risk profile? Is it still appropriate?
  • Are you satisfied with your current portfolio holdings and fund diversity?
  • Are there any other asset classes worth considering? For example, are overseas shares an opportunity in the year ahead?
  • Is your asset allocation appropriate for today’s financial markets?
  • What is your time frame to retirement?
  • Are you on track with your retirement savings?

When you review your investment strategy you should also review and, if necessary, update your nomination of beneficiary documents. Are they still relevant? Is your nomination binding? If so, review the date of signing as these need to be reviewed every three years if they are not a perpetual binding nomination.

Having asked yourself the hard questions (and hopefully got some answers), February is usually a quiet time in financial markets and as such is an ideal opportunity to touch base with your financial planner if you have one. Alternatively, you could consider getting one-off advice to ensure you’ve structured your SMSF correctly.

28th Tax lodgement deadline for SMSFs established in the 2015 financial year

Lodgement deadline for December quarter activity statements.

March

Have you seen your 2014/15 financial statements? If not, you’re nearing the lodgement deadline, so follow up with your accountant/administrator.

April

28th Lodgement deadline for March quarter activity statements

May

Budget announcements

It’s important as an SMSF trustee to be across any budget announcements about changes to superannuation and how they may affect you. Many SMSF specialist firms run free seminars on issues arising out of the budget and you should consider attending one.

15th Tax lodgement deadline for all other SMSFs

It’s time to start your year-end planning.

Contributions

  • Are your member contributions up to date?
  • Have you maximised your concessional cap?
  • Ensure you don’t exceed your cap to avoid excess contributions tax.
  • There are transitional rules for members turning 50 during the financial year – do they apply to you?
  • The government co-contribution – if eligible, have you made a contribution?
  • Bring-forward rule – to trigger or not to trigger? Is it an appropriate time to make a $540,000 non-concessional contribution and take advantage of the bring-forward rule?

Self-employed

It’s time to review your business financials and decide what, if any, amount you wish to contribute to your fund before 30 June.

Pensions

  • Are you aged 55? Can you benefit from starting a transition-to-retirement (TTR) pension?
  • Are you aged 60 or over? Can you benefit from starting an account-based pension/TTR?
  • If setting up a pension, you may want to review your fund’s carried-forward capital losses. If there is an amount you wish to use, you will need to keep a balance in your accumulation account.

Government benefits

Are you eligible for the age pension or Commonwealth Seniors Healthcare Card?

June

Funds in pension mode

What were your minimum/maximum pension requirements for the financial year? Have you met your pension obligations? If not, it’s time to top them up.

July – Happy new (financial) year!

14th Pay-as-you-go (PAYG) payment summaries must be distributed to pension members under 60

28th Lodgement deadline for June quarter activity statements

Funds in pension mode

It’s time to review your new minimum/maximum pension figures for the 2017 financial year. Although you won’t have exact figures until your year-end financial statements are complete, this is an ideal time to review and change any periodic pension payments you may have set up.

TTR pension recipients should review their accumulation and pension account balances and consider a consolidation (stop/restart) of the pension and/or the establishment of a second pension if more favourable.

August

14th Lodgement of PAYG summaries and statements to the ATO

Contribution confirmations

It’s time to review your member contributions for 2015/16 and prepare your notice of intent to claim or vary a deduction for personal superannuation contributions to give to your accountant so they can start on your year-end financial statements.

Funds likely to get a tax refund should get their paperwork to their accountant quickly so the refund can be invested sooner rather than later.

September

All quiet on the super front.

October

28th Lodgement deadline for September quarter activity statements

November

Time to earn a little investment money at the spring racing carnival!

December

Financial markets are generally quiet as we near the Christmas/holiday period. Are there any investment opportunities?

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