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MEMBER 47 writes:

“An unusually observant client recently asked about this compulsory question from item 20 of the Tax Return form.

He noted that, like most Australians, he has some superannuation, and that most superannuation funds hold shares in large companies, and suggests Telstra and BHP as simple examples.

Both Telstra and BHP certainly own assets located outside Australia, with values exceeding AUD$50,000.

Does this mean that he (and almost every one of our clients) has an indirect interest in some foreign assets?

The instructions for Question 20 seem clear and refer to legal and beneficial interests, and whether held directly or indirectly through interposed entities.

From now on, perhaps we should be routinely answering Yes to this question at item 20 for all clients who have any managed superannuation interests?

Or perhaps the Tax Institute could commence meaningful dialogue with the ATO and request removal of this seemingly pointless question from the tax return form.

It appears to be yet another simple waste of time and space.”

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