One way that small business owners can strengthen and supplement their income is through self-managed super funds (SMSF). Though it might seem challenging, these obstacles are worth traversing, as SMSFs offer many benefits. Having an SMSF allows you to invest in commercial properties within your private super funds. This gives you the twofold benefit of increasing the value of your super fund and providing your organisation with valuable assets.
What is an SMSF?
An SMSF is a superannuation trust structure that provides benefits to its members upon retirement. Its main difference from other super funds is that SMSF members are also the trustees of the fund, and they can amount to a maximum of four members. This allows a level of control when it comes to tailoring the funds to each trustee’s needs.
SMSFs come with their our Tax File Number (TFN), Australian Business Number (ABN), and transactional bank account. This bank account will allow trustees to receive contributions and rollovers, make investments, and pay out lump sums and pensions. As mentioned before, the fund is controlled by trustees, which can take two forms:
- The Corporate Trustee. A company can act as the trustee with each member as a director. This can allow simpler registration of assets, more efficient management, and flexibility in membership.
- The Individual Trustee. In this case, each member is appointed as a trustee with a minimum of two trustees required.
While setting up an SMSF requires compliance with the trustees of the fund, there are quite a few major advantages it can offer. Here are some of these advantages:
1. It can reduce the capital gains tax
A small business owner can transfer their commercial properties into the fund. The superannuation law might prevent individuals from transferring their residential properties to a fund, commercial properties are exempt. Business offices, buildings, and industrial locations can be held in your SMSF.
Including commercial properties in your SMSF reduces the capital gains tax amount on the sale of these properties, boosting the super fund as well. Consult your accountant about which funds you can and cannot write off in this manner.
2. It can give provide tax deductions for business expenses
Once a property has been transferred to the SMSF, you will have to enter a lease agreement with the fund to rent the property on commercial terms. This can be written off as a tax deduction for the business, as any rent paid toward using the property would now be a business expense.
Repairs, maintenance, renovations, improvements, and other property management fees are also now claimed in the fund.
3. The fund earns money for tax deductions
Any earnings on investments held in an SMSF are taxed at 15%—including commercial properties. That means rent will be taxed at the standard rate. We’ve mentioned before that small business owners like you can claim a tax deduction for the business on rent paid to the SMSF, but the SMSF itself will only end up paying this reduced tax. This serves the purpose of allowing businesses to make significant tax deductions while making significant contributions to its retirement fund.
Not all businesses and business structures can fit with every business. For the right enterprises, however, it can help manage the commercial properties of a business while growing out its retirement fund. An SMSF can offer options and benefits you otherwise would not have had.
If you are looking to set up an SMSF for your business along the Sunshine Coast, QLD, you will need the help of an accountant. Send us at SMB Accounting a message so we can help you through this process.