SMSF property investment – is it for you?

Self-Managed Super Funds (known as SMSFs) are increasingly popular among  Australians, with statistics identifying that four new SMSFs are created every hour. The key benefit of a SMSF is that investors have total control over their finances, making all investment decisions for their fund. Using an SMSF to buy property is an attractive option, but one which requires careful consideration and a good basic understanding of both tax and superannuation law.

There are certainly advantages to having property in a SMSF – as your super fund will be taxed at only 15%, which is substantially lower than the average  individual’s tax rate. Note however, that you cannot live in any property purchased within your SMSF and no trustee, member or relative can benefit from the property’s purchase. In short, the property’s purchase must be for the sole benefit of supporting the SMSFs strategy for building retirement wealth.

If you are interested in starting a self-managed fund, there are a number of factors to consider – initially, you will need substantial funds to draw down upon, as you may use borrowings for property maintenance but not for property improvement. If you require more information about SMSFs and whether they are the right investment path for you, take the time to speak with your accountant or financial advisor.