New guidelines for share transfers

SMSF technical expert and columnist for The Australian newspaper
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If you‘re planning to transfer a large number of shares into your self-managed super fund, you may want to tread carefully because a new interpretative decision has shed light on how the Australian Tax Office (ATO) will treat any amounts that exceed your contributions cap.

The ATO interpretative decision (ID 2012/79) states that separate share transfers, even if they occur on the same day, will be counted as separate contributions and this is important because in a situation where your fund breaches its contributions limit, it could mean the difference with being charged excess contributions tax or receiving a refund of the excess amount.

It can often be difficult to know the precise value of a share transfer into super, officially known as an 'in specie' contribution, because you won’t know the exact day the transfer may occur and hence the value of those shares. If you are making large and numerous transfers that will, in total, scrape close to the $150,000 non-concessional contributions cap, you run the risk of breaching this limit.

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