Smart End of Financial Year Strategies

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1 Level 7,34 Charles St Parramatta Parramatt NSW 2150 PO Box 103 Parramatta NSW 2124 Phone: Fax: Web: Build Guide Protect Manage Wealth Smart End of Financial Year Strategies Part of the: Wealth Education Bulletin by Carnegie Financial Planning What s in this Wealth Education Bulletin? It s that time of year again... With 30 June 2011 fast approaching here are some Smart Strategies to help you Build, Protect and Manage your money in a tax effective way. This bulletin covers Tax Effective Ways to Build Wealth using Superannuation Contributions Building Wealth through Gearing Gearin (Borrowing to Invest) Protecting Yourself with Insurance that s Tax Effective Tax Effective ways to Manage how you make and spend money How to read this document Making smart decisions about your money to meet your daily needs and steer towards your long term goals can be a complex task. task There are so many issues to consider such as taxation, legislation, associated costs, protecting your wealth and assets and the inherent risks of choosing one path over others to achieve your money goals. Developing, implementing and acting cting on a Financial Plan to achieve your goals requires you to understand how these issues will impact on you and what you should expect over time. me. As your Financial Adviser, part of our role is to inform and educate you to be better builders, protectors and managers of your wealth. This document provides some additional information to help you understand financial planning concepts in general. Youu should not act on this information nor see it as personal advice. This document should be used to compliment our Financial Planning Process which involves knowing enough about your objectives, current situation and attitudes to risk and investment in order rder to ensure that our recommendations suit your needs and situation. The purpose of our Financial Planning Process is to deliver de a recommended strategy and product solution unique and tailored to your situation and needs. 1

2 Building Wealth with Superannuation What you need to know about Super Superannuation is the most tax effective way of building wealth for your retirement. You are able to invest in a wide variety of opportunities using cash, shares, property and even choose the type of super fund you have. For more information on Superannuation see Understanding Superannuation on the Wealth Education page of our website The tax rates imposed on superannuation funds are as follows: Contributions Tax is a maximum of 15%. Investment income is taxed at a maximum of 15%. Capital Gains are taxed at a maximum of 15%. If the asset has been owned by the superannuation fund for more than 12 months the maximum rate of capital gains tax is 10%. When an income stream is commenced upon retirement, the tax rate imposed on income and capital gains in the pension account is reduced to zero. Pension payments are also tax free for those aged over 60. For those aged between 55 and 60, pension payments (less any tax free amount) will be taxable and receive a 15% tax offset. These superannuation tax rates could be lower than your personal marginal tax rate. Using Super as a wealth building vehicle is a sound financial strategy, just remember the rules and limits that come with Superannuation investments. There are contribution caps Concessional Contributions Non Concessional Contributions What is it A contribution made by or for individuals that are deductible to the contributor and are assessable in the hands of the superannuation fund. Includes: employer contributions, salary sacrifice, insurance premiums paid into a super fund Life Insurance policy and self employed contributions Are taxed at a maximum of 15% and form part of the taxable component of your superannuation benefit. Include contributions to the fund such as personal after-tax contributions and spouse contributions. What s the Cap The current annual limit for concessional contributions (from all sources) is $25,000. Concessional contributions made in excess of this limit are charged penalty taxes, and so for most people should be avoided. For those 50 years of age and over at any time in a financial year this limit is $50,000 per person per year The current annual limit is $150,000.Contributions made in excess of this limit are charged penalty taxes, and so for most people should be avoided. Individuals under age 65 are able to bring forward two years of non-concessional contributions, allowing $450,000 in one year, with no further contributions in the next two years. 2

3 It s your money...but not yet Superannuation benefits are restricted in that they generally cannot be accessed until the owner reaches their Preservation Age and has retired, or the owner reaches age 65. A person s Preservation Age will vary between age 55 and 60 depending on their date of birth (as outlined in the table below). Date of Birth Before 1 July July June July June July June July June After 30 June Preservation Age Smart Super Strategies for End Of Financial Year (EOFY) Are getting a bonus from your employer Earn less than 10% of your income from eligible employment so you re either self employed or not employed Arrange to salary sacrifice the bonus into super rather than get it as cash (after tax). Invest in Super (making a concessional contribution) and claim your contribution as a tax deduction Reduce tax on your bonus of up to 31.5% Make a larger after tax investment in super Use the deduction to offset other taxable income. Build wealth outside of your business if you re self employed. Stay under your concessional contribution cap. Consider other strategies like using this money to repay non deductible debt like home loans or credit cards. Stay under your concessional contribution cap. Do your sums and consult your accountant or tax adviser to get the most tax effective mix Earn less than $61,920 with at least 10% from employment or business Have a spouse earning less than $13,800 p.a Are any or all of the above Make a personal after tax contribution to super Make an after tax super contribution for them Purchase life insurance, total and permanent disability insurance or income protection in a super fund Get wealth into superannuation with the view to a tax effective retirement income Qualify for a Government Co-Contribution of up to $1,000 Increase your retirement savings Receive a tax offset of up to $540 Increase your spouse s retirement savings Save on premiums some super funds use Group rates for members Protect your Family against the financial burden of your death or disability Stay under your non concessional cap. Consider starting a regular investment plan and get your employer to draw this from your salary starting 1 July Stay under your spouse s non concessional cap Consider starting a regular investment plan and get your employer to draw this from your salary starting 1 July Check the fine print and know your insurance policy Consider using the money you save wisely. You could top up your super contributions or to repay non deductible debt Have an investment in your own name Have a capital gain from the sale of an asset and less than 10% of your income from employment Cash out the investment and use the money to make a personal after tax contribution to super Invest the sale proceeds into super by making a concessional contribution Reduce the tax on investment earnings by up to 31.5% Grow more wealth in superannuation Claim a tax deduction to gain an offset against the capital gain Increase the portion of your wealth in super Get a Financial Planner to help you get the most out of your super life insurance. Stay under your non concessional cap Consider the tax consequences of selling an investment like Capital Gains and Losses. Do your sums and get your tax adviser s guidance Stay under the concessional cap Consider making an additional non concessional contribution to get more wealth into super 3

4 Building Wealth by Gearing. Gearing simply means borrowing money to invest. Gearing can accelerate the process of wealth creation by allowing an investor to make a larger investment than would otherwise be possible. The borrowed money can be invested in a number of ways, including direct shares, property and managed investments. Gearing can be an effective strategy if the after tax capital gain and income return of the geared investment exceeds the after tax costs of funding the investment. If the net gains from your investments over the long term outweigh the costs of borrowing, gearing will magnify those gains. Gearing is considered to be an effective long term strategy because experience has shown that over the long term, growth based investments can deliver the higher potential returns required. However, investments suitable for gearing are generally more volatile than others, and can also lose value. During a period when investments are losing value, gearing will magnify those losses. Any gearing strategy should also be prudent enough to protect the investor from being forced to sell investments at a low point in the investment markets. Gearing is only appropriate for growth based investments such as shares and property and should be viewed as a longterm strategy, that is, seven to ten year timeframe. You need to be able to retain the investment (and maintain the loan repayments) during potential short-term market declines, in order to obtain the benefits of long term growth. What is Negative Gearing? Negative gearing occurs when the interest payable on borrowed funds and any expenses incurred to derive that income exceeds the net income received from the investment. The investor must have surplus income from other sources over and above their day to day living expenses to meet the shortfall. Gearing is most appropriate for people: With an assertive or aggressive risk profile, who are prepared to accept investment volatility With a strong, secure cash flow (which is protected by appropriate levels of insurance) On higher marginal tax rates With an investment time-frame of greater than seven years The Benefits of Gearing Potential for increased capital gains and diversification. Gearing increases the size of an investor's portfolio by allowing them to purchase additional investments with borrowed funds. By increasing the number of investments in an investor's portfolio, the volatility of the overall investment portfolio may be reduced due to greater diversification. Taxation. Tax savings should never be the primary reason for choosing an investment strategy, however there are some additional tax benefits associated with gearing. Under current legislation, interest payments on money borrowed to invest in income producing investments, together with ongoing expenses, can normally be claimed as deductions against your taxable income. In some cases investors may be able to pay the interest costs for up to 12 months in advance. The higher your marginal tax rate, the greater the tax saving you will receive from tax deductions. Investment income that is predominantly sourced from Australian investments may provide an additional benefit through the value of any franking credits. In many cases investors will be able to obtain a full tax deduction for interest incurred through gearing into international funds. 4

5 Smart Gearing Strategies for EOFY Are already Gearing Are new to Gearing with cash to invest Pre pay interest for the next financial year before 30 June this year Consider a Capital Protected Investment and a 100% Investment Loan Put your cash to work by using it to pay the interest on a 100% Limited Recourse Investment Loan where: Your loan can be used to fund 100% of your investments Use the 100% Investment Loan to buy into a Capital Protected Investment where: You have access to Growth Assets such as Australian and International Shares Are protected from a fall in the value of your investment Have no obligation (aside from interest repayments over the term of the loan) to repay the loan Can sell your investment after the loan term and take the growth accumulated. Effectively claim 2 years worth of deductible interest in one year interest paid during the financial year plus a full prepayment of next year s interest. Interest and part of the cost of protecting your loan and investment will be tax deductible. Investment income can be used to meet the ongoing interest charged. Have cash to cover the lump sum interest payment Get advice from a Financial Planner and Tax Adviser before implementing this strategy Look for a Capital Protected Product with an Australian Tax Office Product Ruling Protecting Wealth with Insurance An insurance strategy is the foundation for all successful plans to build and manage wealth. The most valuable financial asset you have is your physical ability to earn income. Smart Insurance Strategies for EOFY Need to work to live Invest in an Income Protection Policy that will pay up to 75% of your salary if you can t work due to illness, injury and disability Provide for the financial needs of your family if you can t work. Claim a tax deduction for the income protection premium Have this in place and premiums paid by 30 June 2011 Work with your Financial Planner to get the best Income Protection Policy for your needs and situation. Run a business with ongoing expenses Invest in a Business Expense Insurance Policy Keep your business going if you can t work Have this in place and premiums paid by 30 June 2011 It s like income protection for your business covering ongoing expenses like rent, equipment finance, salaries of your support staff, accounting fees. Claim a tax deduction for the business expense premium Work with your Financial Planner to get the best Policy for your needs and situation. Have a family that depends on your financially All of these expenses continue even if you cease trading due to your illness, injury and disability Purchase life insurance, total and permanent disability insurance or income protection in a super fund Save on premiums some super funds use Group rates for members Protect your Family against the financial burden of your death or disability Check the fine print and know your insurance policy Consider using the money you save wisely. You could top up your super contributions or to repay non-deductible debt Get a Financial Planner to help you get the most out of your super life insurance. 5

6 Managing Wealth Making smart and informed decisions about how to spend, save and invest is what managing wealth is all about. With the EOFY around the corner here are some tips on how to manage wealth tax effectively. Are earning investment income or making a capital gain Time income and capital gains to come after 30 June. Bring forward any deductible investment expenditure prior to 30 June Defer receiving income to the new financial year So you can claim these expenses against this year s income Look at the possibility of making a deductible super contribution Have Capital Losses Sell assets with a capital loss Use these losses to offset any capital gains this year Consider use tax-deductible super contributions to offset tax on capital gains Are considering a Charitable donation Have School Aged Children Run a Business Do it before 30 June Claim a deduction Are donating to a registered charity Invest in: laptops, home computers and associated costs (including repair and running costs of computer equipment and lease costs), home internet connection and printers and paper; education software; school textbooks and material (including prescribed textbooks, associated learning materials, study guides and stationery); and prescribed trade tools. Bring forward business expenses and consider prepaying expenses for 2012 Claim the education tax refund. The refund covers expenses of up to $794 for each child at primary school (maximum refund of $397) and $1588 for each child at secondary school (maximum refund of $794) this year. So if you have not used up your full entitlement it may also be worth bringing forward education expenses to boost your refund. So you can claim these expenses against this year s income Keep receipts Make sure there is sufficient cash flow to keep things running into the new financial year Have the ability to Income Split with another person Defer receiving income until after 30 June Split income from investments to a taxpayer on a lower marginal tax rate. Share the tax burden of investment income across partners or within a family. Make full use of each individual s tax free threshold and the following tax offsets: Do your sums Consider that a change in ownership of an investment (and the income) may result in a capital gain or loss. Mature age workers Low Income Tax Offset Senior s Tax Offset Quick Tips Work related expenses are extensive, know what you re entitled to claim and start keeping these records If you have had more than $1,500 in medical expenses out of pocket you may be entitled to a Net Medical Expenses Tax Offset. Consider private health insurance if you re single and earning more than $77,000 per annum or a Family earning more than $154,000. This will eliminate the Medicare Levy Surcharge. Keep good records to support all your tax deduction claims. Consider using one dedicated bank account or credit card for all deductible expenses and keep receipts in one safe place. 6

7 Advice to Make Smart Decisions Every Carnegie Financial Planning Client is taken through our Advice Process. It is designed to ensure that our Advice is authentic, oriented to achieving your life goals and is built on a foundation of mutual trust and respect. There are six stages in our Advice Process and they re usually spread across at least two face to face meetings Our Advice Process Our Advice Process starts with a Discovery Meeting. Think of it like a first date. We gather information about your current financial situation, your life and wealth goals. We ask you five very important questions and we use a Financial Road Map which you can take home with you. When we meet we will ask you: What is most important to you in life? What goals do you have that need time, money and a plan to achieve? Where are you now? Where do you want to be? What s in your way or stopping you? After our Discovery Meeting we mutually agree to work together to achieve the goals you ve identified and address the issues crucial to your financial wellbeing. This agreement is documented in our Terms of Engagement which is a joint commitment to each other. We then begin the detailed process to prepare and present our Advice to you. Presenting our Advice and gaining your consent to Make it Happen commits you to our Strategies and Recommendations. We then implement our Recommendations and agree on an Ongoing Service Arrangement with You. You are the driver at the centre of Our Advice Process. Our role is get you to focus on Protecting, Building and Managing your Wealth now and with a clear direction and purpose for the future. For more information about Carnegie Financial Planning read our Financial Services Guide available on our website. For more Wealth Education visit This document has been published by Carnegie Financial Planning AFSL , registered address Level 7/34 Charles St Parramatta NSW 2150, ABN for use in conjunction with their Financial Planning Process and Statements of Advice prepared by Carnegie Financial Planning and its Authorised Representatives. This document contains general information about the benefits, costs and risks associated with certain product classes and strategies. It is designed for use in conjunction with our Financial Planning Process and a Statement of Advice that takes into account the circumstances and objectives of an individual. Before making a commitment to purchase or sell a financial product, you should ensure that you have obtained an individual Statement of Advice. As legislation may change you should ensure you have the most recent version of this document. 7

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