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Investments in unit trusts and companies: The current issues paper


SMSFs have been investing in certain related unit trusts and companies for years. However, new market conditions give rise to new issues for practitioners to be aware of, such as:

  • An SMSF might think it is investing in overseas property but it is actually investing in a foreign land holding company...this can cause many in-house asset considerations and proper handling is vital
  • SMSFs use reg 13.22 'ungeared' unit trusts as a convenient vehicle for joint investments or property development. However, what happens if the fine print in the builder's contract places a lein over the unit trust land?
  • How pre-12 August 1999 trusts can be caught by the in-house asset rules due to the obligation to distribute income or by converting them into an 'ungeared unit trust'.

This paper covers the key rules to be aware of when SMSFs invest in unit trusts and companies with a particular focus on how they apply in today's market, including tips and traps and detailed case studes.

Author profile

Bryce Figot CTA
Bryce is a special counsel at DBA Lawyers and is recognised as one of Australia’s leading SMSF lawyers. He has worked predominantly in the fields of tax and superannuation over the past 17 years and holds a Master of Laws from the University of Melbourne. Bryce is a regular seminar presenter on tax and SMSF topics and has published extensively in these areas. Bryce regularly presents for the major professional bodies including the SMSF Association, CPA Australia The Tax Institute, Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand and DBA Network. Bryce is regularly quoted and published in the Australian Financial Review, the Herald Sun, CCH and LexisNexis publications, and elsewhere in the financial press. Bryce wrote the book Complete Guide to SMSFs: Planning for Loss of Capacity and Death, published by CCH Wolters Kluwer. Bryce is on the editorial panel of LexisNexis’ Australian Superannuation Law Bulletin. He is a Senior Fellow at the University of Melbourne’s Law School, where he is the subject coordinator of Taxation of Superannuation. Bryce is a Specialist SMSF Advisor™ as well as being a Chartered Tax Adviser - Current at 03 February 2021
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This was presented at Super appreciation - A sensory analysis .

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Recent cases relating to SMSFs, compliance and super reform

Author(s):  Nathan Burgess

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