SMSF Technical Education & Strategies

Our SMSF Technical Education & Strategies library is a collection of easy to read reference material that you can refer to when you need to know what you are allowed to do in your SMSF, and what strategies can be deployed.

For ease of use, we have grouped the content into 4 main categories. Basically, money is contributed into a SMSF, money is invested while inside the SMSF, and eventually money comes out of the SMSF. We then also have a General Issues section for anything that does not fit into these categories. By grouping in this way, you can easily find the specific topic that you need information on. We will continue to add new material to this page over time and will let you know via our member update emails.

Money going into your SMSF

Contribution Rules

  Can you contribute (or receive contributions) to your SMSF ?
  Types of contributions
  How much of each type of contribution is allowed ?

  The 3 year bring forward rule for non-concessional contributions
  Can excess non-concessional contributions be returned to you ?

  Refund of excess concessional contributions

  Contribution splitting

  Contributions from the disposal of small business assets

Contribution Taxation

  Contributions tax

  Low income super contribution (offsets contributions tax for low income earners)

  How to pay any excess contributions tax

  Tax deductions for contributions

  Don't invalidate a tax deduction by starting a pension before lodging the notice of intention to deduct


Contribution Strategies

  Maximising non concessional contributions - timing the "bring forward" period

  Maximising non concessional contributions - age 64 at any time in financial year

  Use of a contributions reserve around 30 June to avoid excess contributions tax

  Salary sacrifice
  Salary sacrifice with a transition to retirement pension
  Concessional contributions for your spouse from your business
  Get a tax rebate for an eligible spouse contribution

  Interaction of contribution caps and borrowing rules - get more into your SMSF

Money inside your SMSF


  What can you invest in, and the sole purpose test
  Investment restrictions
  Can you invest in art or collectable's?
  Can you invest in or trade derivatives (options and futures) ?
  Can you invest in or trade CFD's ?
  Can you invest in shares with discount cards ?

  The tips & traps of SMSFs investing in Unit Trusts



  Borrowing to invest in a SMSF
  The traps of SMSF borrowing
  The 15 steps in a typical SMSF borrowing
  The essential terms of the bare trust

  Can you lend money to your SMSF at a low interest rate ?

  SMSF borrowing & property construction

  Can you sub-divide land you have purchased under a SMSF loan ?

  The practical realities and steps for a SMSF borrowing for property

  Summary of the ATO's views on various borrowing issues (as at 14/02/11)



  Insurances within your SMSF

  Tax Deduction rules for TPD insurance (from 1 July 2011)

  Can a SMSF trustee take out Trauma insurance for a member ?



  Tax within a SMSF
  The value of imputation credits

  Allowable tax deductions within a SMSF



  What is a reserve, and why would you want one

  Allocating funds from a reserve - what are the rules and how are they treated ?

  Use of a contributions reserve around 30 June to avoid excess contributions tax

Money coming out of your SMSF


  When can you get your money out of your SMSF ?
  Lump sum or pension ?



  The Account Based pension

  The Transition to Retirement pension

  The Reversionary pension

  Should you establish your pension as a reversionary pension ?

  Does your fund need an actuarial certificate when paying pensions ?


Death Benefits

  Estate planning & your SMSF death benefits

  Who can receive your death benefits and in what form ?

  The tax implications of SMSF death benefits

Are former partners of a same sex couple treated as a death benefits dependent for tax ?

  What if there are no dependants left ?
  SMSF binding death benefit nominations

  Binding death benefit nominations v's auto reversionary pensions

  Can an estate or trust distribute or gift assets to an SMSF?

  SMSF Succession Planning - Guide for Advisers


Taxation of money coming out of your SMSF

  Calculating your tax components
  Tax rate tables for normal lump sums and pensions (including disability payments)
  Tax rate tables for death benefit lump sums and pensions


Optimising your Retirement Income

Introduction to the 3 key areas of retirement income optimisation

Capital usage and managing longevity risk

Capital usage and optimising the age pension



The lump sum strategy (when used with a pension) for under 60's

The re-contribution strategy

Transition to retirement pension interacting with preservation components

Tax deduction for anti detriment on death of a member

Tax deduction for future service on death of a member

General Issues

Trustee Issues

  The practical advantages of a SMSF corporate trustee

  Trustee succession upon death or disability - the practical steps and issues

  Maintaining your SMSF when going overseas for an extended period

  Enduring power of attorney in a SMSF


From The ATO

Common contraventions and this year's focus (2010/11)

Excess contributions tax and lodgement issues

Anti detriment, reserves, exempt pension income, and deductions

More info from the ATO

There may be specific issues that you face with your SMSF that are not listed above. The ATO website at has a large range of free information that may also assist.



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