SMSF Advice from Your Accountant After 1 July 2016

Discussing finances with a colleague over financial data with documents on the table. Get in touch with our accounting firm in Sydney for expert advice.

You may have read in the financial press about the changes that will be happening from 1 July 2016 in the SMSF advice area. From 1 July 2016, new laws will come into play, and SMSF accountants will no longer be able to give clients advice about SMSFs (Self Managed Superannuation Funds) unless they hold an Australian Financial Services Licence (“AFS licence”).

At S&W, we have a long history of providing advice in the SMSF space. We took steps years ago to get a limited licence within the firm so that we were able to provide the advice our clients needed in this area. Unlike other accountants, we have always been licenced (under a licence in Bill Stanley’s name, with all other partners being proper authority holders).

Keeping in mind that Bill has been scaling down his S&W responsibilities, S&W will be getting its own limited licence over the next few months so that we can continue to provide this advice.

It will be business as usual, and we will continue to be able to satisfy all our client’s needs concerning specific advice on superannuation and SMSFs. As we advance, the only change you will see is the extra paperwork and a Statement of Advice that will be required to be prepared under the new law for any advice given in this area from 1 July 2016.

To give you some more background on what the new law’s effects will mean for the Accounting industry, below are some examples of what accountants (licenced and unlicensed) can advise their clients on concerning SMSFs after 1 July 2016.

What an AFS Licenced Accountant can advise onWhat an unlicensed Accountant can advise on
·         Setting up an SMSF.

·         Recommending whether to start or stop an account-based pension account.

·         Recommending whether to start a transition to a retirement pension account.

·         Making recommendations on contribution levels and amounts.

·         Talking to you about SMSF investment strategies.

·         Tax calculation and taxation advice matters relating to your SMSF.

·         SMSF accounting and administration matters.

·         Offering you information on compliance and regulations relating to SMSFs.

We will keep you updated on the changes and requirements in the SMSF space, particularly as we get closer to the 1 July changeover. Meanwhile, if you have any queries regarding the above, please get in touch with one of the partners to discuss.

Kreston Stanley Williamson has produced this article to serve its clients and associates. The information contained in the article is of general comment only and is not intended to be advice on any particular matter. Before acting on any areas in this article, you must seek advice about your circumstances. Liability is limited by a scheme approved under professional standards legislation.

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