How To Know If An Asset Can There Are 4 Things Your SMSF Asset Needs To Be To Be An Arms-Length Transaction…Be Acquired By Your SMSF


Strict investment rules govern how trustees can acquire assets through self-managed super funds (SMSF) from related parties

When it comes to acquiring an asset from a related party, a trustee must ensure it is an ‘arm’s length transaction’, in other words, the asset is purchased at market value.

These rules not only apply when purchasing an asset but also when selling, loaning and leasing an asset to a related party.

A clear example of an SMSF failing to transact at arm’s length is an SMSF that gives a loan to a related party who pays this loan back over a period without being charged interest. Another instance could involve investing in a related unit trust that does not pay distributions back to the fund.

In a situation where an asset is acquired for an amount lower than market value or for no cost, such as an ‘in specie contribution’ then the difference between the amount the fund has paid and the asset’s market value must be recorded as a contribution.

There are also only limited assets that your fund can acquire off a related party such as:

  • a listed security (i.e., shares listed on an approved stock exchange)
  • an in-house asset (provided the market value of the fund’s in-house assets does not exceed five per cent of the total market value of the fund’s assets)
  • business real property (i.e., land or buildings used exclusively for business purposes)
  • an asset specifically excluded from being an in-house asset
  • Assets acquired as part of a relationship breakdown

As always, questions or concerns involving your SMSF should be consulted with professional advisors who can assist you with trusted and unbiased advice and professional guidance.


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