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Categories | SMSF cases & decisions


How long can an SMSF BDBN last for? The High Court answers in Hill v Zuda

The High Court of Australia has settled the debate on how long an SMSF BDBN can last for. Implicitly this judgement also provides support in answering other critical SMSF succession planning questions, such as: Can a BDBN make a pension reversion mid-stream? Can a BDBN override pension documentation? Do you actually want a BDBN to [read more]


Employee or contractor –– High Court focus on contract v. multi-factors –– Part 2

The law in relation to who is an employee or independent contractor has developed over many years both here in Australia and overseas. Several recent Australian High Court decisions provide greater clarity on this distinction which we discuss below. Employee v contractor ­­– PAYG & SG – Part 1 Note that this is the second [read more]


Tasmania introducing foreign person land tax and duty changes

Overview The Tasmanian Government has recently introduced legislation to impose a Foreign Investor Land Tax Surcharge, a commitment from the 2021 state election. There has also been legislation introduced that would amend the Foreign Investor Duty Surcharge for Tasmania. This article acts as a brief simplified overview as there are complexities that must be considered [read more]


What to watch out for when an SMSF trustee is deregistered

Overview A corporate trustee is strongly recommended compared to individual trustees. However, issues can arise if the company’s compliance slips, and the company is deregistered. We examine a case here to showcase the issues that can arise where the remaining fund member died without a will and without any succession plans in place for the [read more]

Close-up of married couple signing papers alongside with other witness or agent - can be divorce, law, liability, evidence agreement for marriage

Are SMSF wills really ‘safer’ than BDBNs?

Soon the High Court will hand down a judgement being the appeal from Hill v Zuda Pty Ltd [2021] WASCA 59 which will definitively answer (among other things) whether an SMSF binding death benefit nomination (BDBN) can last either indefinitely or a maximum of only three years. Some in the SMSF industry have suggested that [read more]

hand-presenting-savings-concept_1972192 cleaned

SMSFs –– substantial uncertainty with NALI impact on employee share schemes

Acquiring shares under an employee share scheme (ESS) via your self managed superannuation fund (SMSF) may appear attractive but substantial uncertainty has arisen following the ATO’s recent ruling, LCR 2021/2, on the application of the non-arm’s length income (NALI) rules to such a transaction. [read more]


Employee or independent contractor –– PAYG & SG –– part 1

The law in Australia in relation to who is an employee or independent contractor has been developed over many years. There have been a number of important recent developments in this field that require employers and those engaging contractors to review their operations and make sure they are compliant and not at risk. The law [read more]


AAT decision on personal deductible contributions

The AAT decision of Khanna and Commissioner of Taxation [2022] AATA 33 serves as a timely reminder regarding personal deductible superannuation contributions. The taxpayer (Mohan Lal Khanna) made $9,600 of personal superannuation contributions to his superannuation fund during the 2018-19 income year. Shortly after the end of the 2018-19 income year (on 3 July 2019) [read more]

LRBAs — current tips and traps

Non-arm’s length income – A history and overview

Non-arm’s length income (NALI) has recently become one of the hottest and most contentious topics in the superannuation industry that impacts both large APRA and self managed superannuation funds (SMSFs). This is largely due to the finalisation of the ATO’s Law Companion Ruling LCR 2021/2, which outlines the ATO’s view of the application of the [read more]

Close up of typewriter and Deed of trust

High Court to decide how long can a BDBN last for!

For many years there was debate in the SMSF industry as to whether an SMSF binding death benefit nomination (BDBN) could last indefinitely. A number of supreme court cases from several different Australian states have held that an SMSF BDBN can last indefinitely, so long as the deed is written to provide for this. Then, [read more]