Not many people know that there is more than $16 billion in lost and unclaimed superannuation across Australia. This is an increase of $2.1 billion since the previous financial year. Lost super is superannuation money held by superannuation funds that people have lost touch with. You become a “lost member” and your superannuation becomes “lost” if you are: Uncontactable – the fund has lost contact with you and your account hasn’t received a contribution or rollover for at least 12 months or; Inactive – your account hasn’t received a contribution or rollover in the past five years. The good news is that finding lost or unclaimed super is easy, and can be done in a matter of minutes.

Do you operate your business via a family trust? If so, there is now slightly more clarity around the law on distributions after much uncertainty throughout the year, following the full Federal Court’s decision in the case of Commissioner of Taxation v Guardian. While the Commissioner may have been disappointed with the full Court’s finding that there was no reimbursement agreement, he would be quite pleased with the application of the anti-avoidance rules to the arrangement in question. What does this all mean for family trust distributions as we head towards the end of the financial year?

Meanwhile, a new ATO fact sheet shines more light on the FBT exemption for electric vehicles. Recently passed legislation exempts from FBT the private use, or availability for use, of cars to employees that are zero or low emissions vehicles with a value at first retail sale below the luxury car tax threshold for fuel efficient vehicles. This is aimed at making electric cars more affordable, thus encouraging a greater take-up of electric cars by Australian road users to reduce Australia’s carbon emissions from the transport sector. The new law applies to fringe benefits in this space provided on or after 1 July 2022.

  • Proposed 15% super tax: Individuals with large superannuation balances may soon be subject to an extra 15% tax on earnings if their balance exceeds $3 million at the end of a financial year. Those affected would continue to pay 15% tax on any earnings below the $3 million threshold but will also pay an extra 15% on earnings for balances over $3 million.
  • Reducing the risk of crypto scams: ASIC has released fresh and timely information around cryptocurrency scams. Scammers use cryptocurrencies, like bitcoin or ether, because they are not easily recovered. Crypto can be sent overseas quickly with limited oversight. If you lose your money to a crypto scam, your money is likely gone. What are the red flags to be aware of?
  • FBT exemption for electric vehicles: Fringe benefits provided on or after 1 July 2022 for cars that are eligible zero or low emissions vehicles that are first held and used on or after 1 July 2022, may be exempt from FBT. A new ATO factsheet provides more detail on this exemption.
  • Finding your lost super: There is more than $16 billion in lost and unclaimed superannuation across Australia. Does some of this belong to you? Make sure you search for any lost or unclaimed super you may have as bringing it all together may help you save on fees and will also make it easier to manage your retirement savings. The good news is that it is easy to conduct a search.
  • Fending off GST audits: The government has welcomed the uncovering and prosecution of ‘the biggest GST fraud in Australia’s history’, stopping approximately $2.5 billion in fraudulent GST refunds from being paid to fraudsters. On a smaller scale, there are lessons to be learned about how you or your business can stave off a GST audit or review if you are subject to ATO scrutiny.
  • Trust distribution landscape now more settled: If you carry on your business affairs through a trust structure, there is now slightly more clarity around the law on distributions following a decision of the full Federal Court. With 30 June rushing towards us, family trusts need to be considering their position in relation to upcoming trust resolutions.

Please contact us for clarification, or further advice, regarding any of the topics covered in this newsletter.

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.