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Taxation of Superannuation (LAWS70267)

Graduate coursework level 7Points: 12.5On Campus (Parkville)

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Year of offer2018
Subject levelGraduate coursework Level 7
Subject codeLAWS70267
Availability(Quotas apply)
FeesSubject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date

Although relevant for all superannuation funds, this subject focuses heavily on self-managed superannuation funds (‘SMSFs’). This subject deals with the underlying policies, technical rules and current practical problems in relation to the taxation of SMSFs and their prudential management. In particular, it considers what investments and structures superannuation funds can use while still attracting concessional tax treatment along with how income is taxed, the treatment of contributions to those funds and the taxation of benefits paid. It also includes a detailed consideration of succession planning issues and how to apply those considerations in practice.

Principal topics include:

  • The Superannuation Industry (Supervision) Act 1993 (Cth) and the Superannuation Industry (Supervision) Regulations 1994 (Cth): Detailed consideration of the key investment and other prudential rules, the policy behind them and how to apply them in practice
  • Taxation of superannuation: overview of policy and legislative framework for contributions, investment and the payment of benefits, as well as the different structuring options available to practitioners
  • Succession planning: the key rules, where there often is a difference between what an SMSF member wants and what the rules allow, how best to seek to ensure that a member’s wishes are achieved and the interplay with tax (including stamp duty) efficiency.

Intended learning outcomes

A student who has successfully completed this subject will:

  • Have an advanced and integrated understanding of the policies, technical rules and current practical problems involved in the taxation of superannuation
  • Be able to identify any problems an SMSF might face, research and evaluate various different solutions and form a reasoned conclusion as to which solution might best address the problem
  • Be able to critically examine, analyse, interpret and assess the effectiveness of these rules
  • Be an engaged participant in debate regarding emerging and contemporary issues in the field
  • Have a sophisticated appreciation of the factors and processes driving proposed revision of the legal framework
  • Have an advanced understanding of the legislative provisions applying to contributions, funds earnings and payment of benefits under the Income Tax Assessment Acts
  • Have a detailed understanding of the interaction between the three pillars of Australia’s superannuation regime
  • Have the cognitive and technical skills to generate critical and creative ideas relating taxation of retirement incomes and the emergence of self-managed superannuation funds (SMSFs)
  • Have the cognitive and technical skills to independently examine, research and analyse existing and emerging tax issues
  • Have the communication skills to clearly articulate and convey complex information regarding the taxation of superannuation regime in Australia to relevant specialist and nonspecialist audiences
  • Be able demonstrate autonomy, expert judgment and responsibility as a practitioner and learner in the field of taxation of superannuation in Australia.

Last updated: 29 March 2019