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SMSF, SMSF and Property, and Labor’s Franking Credit Policy Update

Thursday, February 21, 2019
SMSF have yet again found themselves as a political punching bag in the upcoming election.  According to the Labor party, SMSF’s are typically owned by the wealthy minority.  Whilst this may have been true in the past it is now no longer true.  Many of our SMSF clients are in their mid-30's to mid-’50s and are certainly not in the wealthy minority.  They are just average Australian’s trying to make more of their super by self-managing it, reducing fees paid to the big funds, and using leverage to maximise their returns by borrowing to buy property. 
Labor seems intent on returning power to the big funds who happen to line the pollies pockets with big donations.  I wonder why?!?
Anyway some issue to consider as we approach the next budget and the election.
Considering Buying Property in an SMSF?
If you are considering buying property in an SMSF, please do so before the Budget and Election as I am now near convinced the ability of SMSF’s borrowing to buy property will cease as from May 2019.
Concerned about losing Franking Credits?
You should be.  Labor policy is once again an attack on what they refer to as the wealthy minority.  I had better not get on my hobby horse for fear of offending any Labor supporters.  What I wanted to point out though is that many media commentators are inferring that the policy will directly impact SMSF’s and reduce the benefit of running an SMSF, and encourage investors to wind up their SMSF and return to the Industry funds.  (Another push towards the funds that line the pollies pockets!?!).  This is not actually correct. 
If you are a retiree, and therefore your SMSF is TAX FREE as you are drawing a TAX FREE superannuation pension – then Yes you will lose the refundable franking credit (which is really unfair).  However, the portrayed idea of rolling over to the industry funds to get your franking credit is fundamentally misleading. If you roll over to an industry fund – your franking credit GOES TO THE FUND not you and it is used to reduce tax payable by the OTHER 10 million members. Again – not fair.
The best strategy to combat the unfair effect of this policy (if it gets through) is to add your younger family members, children, grandchildren to your SMSF.  That way your Franking Credit goes to them and at least benefits those you care about and not 10 million strangers.   This will be even more beneficial if the current plan to increase SMSF members to UP TO SIX people gets through parliament. 
All in all – do not panic if Labor gets in – Just plan in advance.
For your free discussion on SMSF strategies about setting up an SMSF, adding members, or buying property please email or click here to book an appointment.
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