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‘Tens of thousands’ of SMSFs at risk with ECPI

The Actuaries Institute has addressed the ATO with significant concerns about a recent interpretation related to exempt current pension income (ECPI), fearing many SMSFs will make incorrect claims as a result.

 

 

In a letter to the tax office, copying in minister for revenue and financial services Kelly O’Dwyer, the institute referred to the ATO’s recently confirmed view that if an SMSF was fully in pension phase for any part of a tax year, it cannot use the unsegregated method for all of its assets for the whole of that tax year.

Rather than having a choice over whether to segregate certain assets to support pension liabilities, this interpretation assumes assets are ‘deemed’ to be segregated at a point in time if the fund’s only superannuation liabilities are in respect of account based type pensions, the letter said.

“This will force many funds to use two different methods, the segregated and unsegregated methods, to claim ECPI in the same income year, adding administrative complexity. The Actuaries Institute is concerned that this interpretation is at odds with long standing industry practice, potentially putting tens of thousands of funds at risk of claiming ECPI incorrectly,” the letter said.

“We also believe that the ATO’s interpretation does not reflect the policy intent and will add significantly to the compliance costs of funds claiming ECPI with no clear gain to tax revenues.”

The institute has recommended the ATO re-considers its position to allow long standing administrative practices to continue.

“If the ATO believes there is no alternative interpretation than their current view we request clarification be sought from Treasury and that, if necessary, the legislation be amended to match established practice,” the institute said.

“Given the uncertainty this is causing in the industry, we also recommend that the ATO clarifies that it will not be requiring funds to comply with this new interpretation for the 2017 and 2018 income years.”

Speaking to SMSF Adviser, general manager of Accurium, Doug McBirnie, said he hopes this latest lobbying effort will pave the wave for a quick resolution.

“We are very pleased to see the Actuaries Institute address this issue with the ATO on behalf of the SMSF industry. The ATO’s recent guidance on this has put actuarial certificate providers in a difficult position and created uncertainty for SMSF practitioners and their clients,” he said.

 

KATARINA TAURIAN
13 Jul 2017
www.smsfadviser.com


Sam El Shammaa

Sam El Shammaa

Director/Financial Planner

For more than 20 years, Sam has been a financial planner helping individuals and families achieve their financial planning goals, by providing advice on Investment Planning; Insurance Planning; Tax Planning; Retirement Planning; and Estate Planning. Working with a network of highly skilled professionals in Sydney he is dedicated to providing high-quality advice and integrated wealth management solutions that simplify and enhance the quality of his clients' lives.

Sam established his own firm in 1997 and has overseen its steady development and growth. Attention to detail, good listening skills and great empathy are symbols of his appreciation by his clients. He has built long-term relationships with his growing client base and aims to provide excellent customer service.

Sam began his financial planning career in 1993 after completing a Bachelor of Science degree in 1991. Since this time he has accumulated many professional qualifications such as:

Sam has volunteered with the Cancer Council of NSW and can be seen almost every year volunteering or participating in the 7 bridges walk.

Away from the business, he enjoys spending weekends with his son. He is also a football (soccer) tragic and is a massive Chelsea FC fan.



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George Pereira

Financial Planner

Having worked for national financial planning companies in the past, George has extensive experience in the provision of advice in risk insurance, investments and retirement planning and is focused on forming long-term relationships with his clients.

George has been awarded a Masters of Commerce (Financial Planning) and a Bachelor of Commerce through University of Western Sydney as well as having the Diploma of Financial Services (Financial Planning).


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Jane entered the financial services industry in 2006, and worked with big blue-chip financial companies such as Count Financial Limited and AMP Financial Planning Pty Ltd.

She holds a Master's degree in Applied Finance through Macquarie University, and she is a member of the Million Dollar Round Table.

Being a self-confessed "tennis nut", Jane spends many weeknights in the tennis court, and is a frequent member of Sydney's Eastern Suburbs Tennis Competition.

Being a highly motivated professional, Jane is always eager to help her clients on a wide range of financial planning needs.

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Paul's professional qualifications are:

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