Already, 2013 is shaping up to be a year full of change and adaption for Australian taxpayers, with the self-managed superannuation fund sector again being kept on its toes. Several changes are lined up for this year, which we run through.

The use of trusts is an ongoing feature of Australia's financial landscape, but is a trust suited to your circumstances? We look at how trusts are used and their different structures. There are also guides to correcting BAS errors, super rights for same-sex couples, and what data matching is (and how the ATO uses it to keep track of your tax compliance).

Should you require more information regarding any topic touched upon in this newsletter, please feel free to contact our office for personal advice.

Please CLICK HERE to open our Client Information Newsletter - February 2013 edition, which covers the following:

Business Topics:

Trusts: Their use and their structure:
  A major motivation for the setting up of trusts is asset protection. Valuable property and other assets can be moved into a trust to isolate them from being exposed to litigation. We explain the various types of trusts and we review the factors that may make one trust more advantageous  to your circumstances than another.

Data matching, and how the ATO uses it:  Tax in Australia is based on a system of "self-assessment". Under self-assessment, any information you give to the ATO is accepted as being accurate & complete. However, it is well known that the ATO will check up on the facts when it can. The perennial tool that the ATO uses is called "data matching", which involves comparing information it has been given by taxpayers with data others hold.  We outline the "tools" used by the ATO to verify that you are meeting your tax obligations.

Correcting BAS errors:  There can be some confusion about correcting errors made on a business activity statement. We look at the types of errors that are made and outline the appropriate method of advising the ATO of the error and how to make any necessary adjustment.

Superannuation Topics:

Same-sex couples' superannuation rights explained:  The debate over same sex marriage in our Federal Parliament last year did not result in a change in the current status of same-sex unions. This does not mean, however, that same-sex couples have no recognition in existing law. Same-sex couples are treated as equitably as heterosexual couples when it comes to superannuation. We review the superannuation rights of same-sex couples.

Changes in the SMSF landscape for 2013:  Managing your retirement savings and controlling an investment portfolio are two responsibilities that are stressful enough without having to worry about the minefield of potential compliance mistakes that can be inadvertently made. We have compiled suggestions as to what self-managed superannuation funds (SMSFs) should look out for in 2013. 

  Should you require more information regarding any topic touched upon in this newsletter, please feel free to contact this office for personal advice.

Disclaimer: All information provided in this newsletter is of a general nature only and is not personal financial or investment advice. Also, changes in legislation may occur frequently. We recommend that our formal advice be obtained before acting on the basis of this information.