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SMSFs –– the CGT withholding regime on property transfers is far broader than many think

Most people by now may be aware of the non-resident capital gains tax withholding obligations (Withholding Regime), which arise for vendors disposing of certain taxable property. Broadly, the Withholding Regime was introduced to allow the Federal Government to obtain tax in respect of foreign vendors. However, the Withholding Regime applies to most transfers of real [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]


Intensive subject on Tax of Superannuation via Melbourne University

Daniel Butler and Bryce Figot of DBA Lawyers are senior fellows at Melbourne Law School and are lecturing a subject titled LAWS90235 Tax of Superannuation A. It is a three day intensive subject and will run in March 2022. Centred around SMSFs, the subject deals with the policies, technical rules, and current practical problems in [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]


Moss Super Pty Ltd v Hayne [2008] VSC 158: why SMSF structures are important

Moss Super Pty Ltd v Hayne [2008] VSC 158 is an important lesson for trustees and advisers to always consider what the governing rules of an SMSF provide before attempting to make changes or exercise powers. Facts The Photography Management Services Pty Ltd Superannuation Fund (Fund) was established by deed dated 31 May 1995. The [read more]

Male lawyer discussing negotiation legal case with client meeting with document contract in office, law and justice, attorney, lawsuit concept.

SMSF denied complying status – recent AAT decision

The recent AAT decision in Driscoll and Commissioner of Taxation [2021] AATA 3892 has important implications that all SMSF professionals (and trustees) should be aware of. We explore the facts, the implications and the lessons learnt from this case in this article. Facts On 23 January 2009, the Driscoll Superannuation Fund (Fund) was established. Mr Driscoll [read more]

NALI –– unit trusts and draft LCR 2019/D3

SMSFs, employee share schemes & NALI

Acquiring shares under an employee share scheme (ESS) via your self managed superannuation fund (SMSF) may appear attractive but greater 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. This ruling focuses on NALI arising from the non-arm’s length expenditure [read more]

DBA Lawyers –– the best BDBN is now even better

SMSF Wills versus BDBNs — what is best?

Overview SMSF Wills have become a topical issue in recent times as some claim they have certain advantages over binding death benefit nominations (BDBNs). This article briefly examines SMSF Wills and compares them to BDBNs. In broad terms, it is DBA Lawyers’ view that SMSF Wills are subject to significant legal risk, and therefore, we [read more]