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The ATO has released a Taxpayer Alert about certain arrangements entered into by self-managed superannuation funds (SMSFs) to acquire property. Arrangements of the kind described in this Taxpayer Alert, in the view of the ATO, do not comply with superannuation law: TA 2012/7 (20 November 2012).

The purpose of the Taxpayer Alert is to warn SMSF trustees and advisors to exercise care; ensuring any arrangements entered into by an SMSF to invest in property are properly implemented, particularly those involving limited recourse borrowing arrangements (LRBA) or the use of a related unit trust.

The ATO is concerned that some of these arrangements, if structured incorrectly, cannot simply be restructured or rectified; unwinding the arrangement may involve a forced sale of the asset which could cause a substantial loss to the fund.

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