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Stamp duty implications of common SMSF transactions paper


SMSFs are regularly party to transactions involving real property and investment vehicles such as unit trusts. The tax advantages of holding assets in the superannuation environment are well-known. However, the stamp duty implications of SMSF transactions are often misunderstood or inadequately dealt with. This paper explores in some detail the South Australian stamp duty issues arising in a range of reasonably common transactions involving SMSFs, addresses some misconceptions and highlights the importance of careful planning and documentation to achieve appropriate stamp duty outcomes.

This paper covers:

  • stamping SMSF trust deeds, amendments and changes of trustee
  • stamp duty implications of transferring assets to SMSFs
  • stamp duty on the following types of transactions:
    •  o in specie benefit payments to members
    •  o in specie death benefit payments to dependants and legal personal representatives
    •  o limited recourse borrowing arrangements – setting up the security trust, acquiring the asset and vesting the security trust 
  • relevant exemptions and concessions in the SMSF context, and how to apply them.

Author profile:

Dr Bernard Walrut CTA
Bernie currently practises as a barrister primarily undertaking advice work. In recent years his practice has been predominantly major commercial transactions, infrastructure projects, trusts and taxation. He has practised in the area of taxation, particularly state taxation, since commencing practice. Bernie holds an LLB, a Master of Aquaculture, a Master of Information Technology, a Master of Taxation, a Master of Laws and a PhD from the University of British Columbia. Current at 19 November 2015 Click here to expand/collapse more articles by Bernard WALRUT.

This was presented at Superannuation Day.

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Acquiring assets from related parties - case study

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