Articles

As previously mentioned in previous articles on our website, far-reaching changes have been made to the superannuation system with many changes taking effect from 1 July 2017. The most significant change is the introduction of the $1.6 million transfer balance cap which will restrict the balance of superannuation a member can commute from accumulation to pension phase. However, the imposition of this legislation brings with it some practical considerations for Trustees of Self-Managed Superannuation Funds (SMSF) in particular the revaluation of assets at 30 June 2017.

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New Austraian law applying GST to imported digital products and services

Australia has introduced a new law applying the Australian Goods and Services Tax (GST) to international sales of digital products and services provided to Australian consumers. Under the new law, overseas suppliers will be required to pay GST on these sales from 1 July 2017.

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As we previously advised, where a foreign resident disposes of certain taxable Australian property, the purchaser is required to withhold 10% of the purchase price (as defined) and pay that amount to the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) under legislation enacted and applying to contracts entered into on or after 1 July 2016.

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As previously mentioned on our website, two superannuation bills were passed by both Houses of Parliament on 23 November 2016.

The Treasury Laws Amendment (Fair and Sustainable Superannuation) Bill 2016 and the Superannuation (Excess Transfer Balance Tax) Imposition Bill 2016 will now go to the Governor-General’s office to receive Royal Assent, thereby enacting superannuation reforms outlined in the 2016 Federal Budget and subsequent changes released in September 2016.

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Two superannuation bills, which include the proposed introduction of the $1.6 million transfer balance cap and changes to concessional contributions, have been passed by both houses.

The Treasury Laws Amendment (Fair and Sustainable Superannuation) Bill 2016 amends five separate acts including:

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Amendments to enhance the way incorporated associations are administered and to clarify the way associations operate took effect on 1 September 2016.

Following three years of public consultation, the Associations Incorporation Act 2009 has been amended to include a new Associations Incorporation Regulation 2016 with effect from 1 September 2016. It is intended the changes to the Act and the new Regulation will assist associations comply with the legislative requirements and improve governance.

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The Budget Savings (Omnibus) Bill 2016 was passed by the Senate on 15 September 2016 without amendment and now awaits Royal Assent.

Among other measures the Bill implements measures announced in the 2016-17 Federal Budget reducing the rates of the tax offset available under the R&D tax incentive for the first $100m of eligible expenditure by 1.5 percentage points. The higher (refundable) rate of the tax offset will be reduced from 45% to 43.5% and the lower (non-refundable) rates of the tax offset will be reduced from 40% to 38.5%.

The federal government has today (15 September 2016) made substantial changes to the superannuation package originally announced in the 2016-17 Federal Budget in May 2016.

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