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Top 10 Tips to Improving Your SMSF Administration

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April 25, 2023

Self-Managed Super Funds (SMSF) have a tax rate of 0% to 15%, making them among the most tax-efficient structures and planning tools in Australia’s complex tax system.

However, this beneficial tax structure is accompanied by a high degree of regulation, compliance, and administration, which is one of the main reasons why an SMSF may not be for everyone.

There are around 600,000 SMSFs in Australia at the moment with only a limited number being handled and managed as they should be. This post examines the top ten SMSF administration tips for SMSF trustees to follow to guarantee that their SMSFs not only deal with the multiplicity of requirements but also offer the greatest possible consequences for SMSF users over their existence.

The 10 Best Tips for Improving SMSF Administration

1. Create Your SMSF with the Help of a Corporate Trustee

One of the most crucial aspects of an SMSF is that all participants must also be trustees. Another fundamental principle of an SMSF is that the SMSF’s income and investments must be kept separate from the trustees’ holdings.

There are five main factors why all SMSFs should have a corporate trustee:

  • Administrative effectiveness
  • The ability to establish a single-member SMSF
  • Allows for the payment of pensions rather than lump sums
  • Obtaining the 15% pension rebate
  • Liability insurance

2. Hold a Current SMSF Trust Deed:

A good quality updated trust deed is critical to the smooth administration of SMSFs. When it comes to building wealth, saving tax, and protecting your assets, your SMSF trust deed is likely the most vital record in your portfolio.

Many SMSF trustees and advisers are guilty of addressing what you may and cannot do with your SMSF. It is not a matter of determining whether it is permissible under the applicable superannuation and taxation legislation. You must check that your trust deed permits it.

3. Recognize Your Responsibilities as an SMSF Trustee

The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) has made a significant effort over the past few years to assist trustees in better understanding their roles and responsibilities in the management of an SMSF. This guide “Roles and Responsibilities of SMSF Trustees” also makes an effort to explain the ATO’s role as regulator and the responsibilities of involved persons such as auditors, tax agents, actuaries, and administrators.

4. Make Sure You Have a Sound Investing Plan and that You Examine it at Least Once Per Year

Apart from the reality that it is a legal need to have a written and carefully thought out investment strategy, the auditor of the SMSF must notify the SMSF to the ATO if the trustees are unable to present the investment strategy document. Every company creates a budget, cash flow estimates, sales targets, etc.

Planning to attain a rate of return that fulfills the fund’s risk profile and liquidity and assessing whether the investment yields the trustee’s desire to match the investments held by the fund are all crucial considerations when making investments.

5. Look for Reputable Guidance and Experienced SMSF Administration Assistance

In SMSFs, control is everything. SMSF trustees wanting to be in charge of their retirement assets does not prevent them from using expert counsel.

The primary source of advice for SMSF trustees is often an accountant. However, as most accountants must remain relevant to several tax rules and have a wide range of knowledge, they usually lack the specific skills trustees need to get the most out of their SMSF.

6. Establish an Estate Strategy for the SMSF

Although it’s probably the SMSF administration key item that gets the least attention, estate planning is crucial. The majority of SMSF trustees (and some advisers) probably are not aware that, in the case of a member’s passing, the assets in an SMSF are not secured by the member’s Will.

Several effective estate planning techniques include:

  • Using a business as the SMSF trustee to minimize administrative burdens associated with asset ownership.
  • If a pension is started, make sure the member’s spouse will receive a revision.
  • Set up a non-expiring, binding death benefit nomination that specifies what happens to the member’s balance in the case of their passing.
  • To essentially “hard-wire” an estate plan into the SMSF’s trust deed, add specific regulations.
  • Re-contribution and “stop-start” pension schemes lower or remove the tax due when benefits are given to a beneficiary who is not a dependent, such as an adult child.SMSF trustees and administrators must seek qualified SMSF accountants in Perth and SMSF auditors in Perth. They will help in the complicated field of estate planning with SMSFs to protect themselves and take care of their families.

7. Make Sure that SMSF Accounting Software is Used to Monitor all Member Elements

Monitoring the member components of an SMSF is equally vital as tracking the financial and SMSF tax return.

SMSF tax return

Member components are made up of maintenance benefits, which limit the percentage of members’ accounts that may be activated or withdrawn from the SMSF. The components essentially define when the advantages contained in the SMSF can be accessible and how much tax, if any, the SMSF member or their beneficiary will be responsible for paying.

8. Make Sure the Trustee’s Name is on all Holdings and Property

If there is no name on the holdings and property it is a violation that SMSF auditors report to the ATO. This is a violation of the law that must be reported assets that are not kept in the name of trustees are vulnerable in the event of bankruptcy, divorce, or any number of other situations. This is why SMSF trustee business should be used to eliminate the aforementioned problems.

9. Simplify SMSF Management with Technology

Both trustees and advisers must make the most of technology when it comes to SMSF management and accountancy to make sure the SMSF is run as efficiently as possible.

10. Always Have a Distanced Relationship with Relatives

It means making sure that any transactions involving related parties are carried out transparently at market value. The ATO always prioritizes all transactions with related parties when conducting audits, thus SMSF trustees and their advisers need to make sure that everything is carried out at a distance and is properly recorded.

Also, read: 5 Reasons To Choose SMSF Over Any Other Type Of Investment Funds


Starting your own Self Managed Super Fund allows you to have a major impact on where your retirement funds are invested. You also have access to a broader selection of investment opportunities and tax relief. Operating an SMSF can be difficult and it takes a specialized staff with the appropriate abilities to ensure SMSF compliance audits and SMSF compliance checks in Perth that your fund is functioning for you. There are SMSF administration services in Perth that can help you in examining your SMSF.

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