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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 Director at leading SMSF law firm DBA Lawyers. He practices predominantly in taxation and superannuation law, particularly the law of SMSFs. He is regularly quoted and published in the Australian Financial Review, the Herald Sun, CCH and LexisNexis publications, and elsewhere in the financial press. He presents extensively to accountants, financial planners and lawyers Australia-wide. Bryce has worked with DBA Lawyers since 2003. He holds both a bachelor degree and a masters degree in law and is an accredited Specialist SMSF Advisor. - Current at 10 December 2015
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Recent cases relating to SMSFs, compliance and super reform

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