Setting up and maintaining an SMSF is complex. The professionals you can seek advice from include the following, and examples of what they can help you with are provided below:
- Accountant – prepares the financial statements and member statements. They can also prepare and lodge your SMSF’s tax return and provide tax advice. Some accountants offer administration support services, such as managing investment paperwork and PAYG withholding obligations.
- Financial planners – help establish an investment strategy, set appropriate asset allocation, control cashflows and select and/or manage your SMSF investments. They also provide advice on strategic superannuation, tax and estate planning issues.
- Lawyers – drafts SMSF deeds, amends existing deeds and prepares other legal documentation. Checks the SMSF deed allows your fund to do certain tasks, such as paying a pension to a permitted beneficiary. Lawyers can also prepare other legal documents such as lease agreements.
- SMSF Auditor – completes the compulsory financial and compliance audit of your SMSF. The auditor must be both ASIC Registered and independent. An SMSF Specialist Auditor (SSAud®) can assist you with your SMSF audit.
- Fund administrator – manages the administrative tasks associated with operating an SMSF. Services generally include: recording fund transactions, production of meeting minutes and general record keeping. Some administrators also produce and lodge SMSF tax returns return, provide annual accounts for the auditor and generate member statements.
- Actuary – if your fund is paying a pension, they determine the level of income earned by your SMSF that is tax exempt. Some actuaries also provide services, such as projecting the expected life of member retirement savings.
TIP – SMSF Specialist Advisor (SSA™)
An SMSF Specialist Advisor (SSA™) can help you with establishing your SMSF by working through the critical decisions that are outlined in this document, including:
- assisting you to decide between a corporate or individual trustees;
- checking whether proposed fund members are eligible to join. Talking through any risks of relationship breakdown and what this can mean for your fund;
- depending on the mix of people in your fund, discuss with you issues such as succession planning and estate planning issues, including options for control of the trustee of your fund upon your death; and
- choosing a deed which is suited to your personal circumstances.
Use the Find a Specialist directory to find an SMSF Specialist Advisor (SSA™) near you.