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Ask Paul: Can we transfer property out of an SMSF and not pay stamp duty?

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Q. My husband and I set up a self-managed super fund about six years ago, for the purpose of investing in residential property.

We have five properties in our SMSF. I retired recently and my husband is due to retire in September.

We would like to take one of the properties out of our SMSF (once my husband retires), so we can use it for ourselves.

The problem is that the property is in the name of our SMSF and we want to transfer it into our names.

ask paul clitheroe stamp duty property smsf

Is there a way this can be done without having to pay stamp duty again on a house that we (the two-member SMSF) have already paid when our SMSF bought the property? - Karen

A. I am getting a lot of questions about residential property in super funds, most relating to the falling market, so yours is an interesting one, Karen.

There is a lot of complexity in an SMSF and even more with holding property in the fund.

You can sell or transfer a property to any party, including yourselves, that is not "arm's length".

As you know, this does not apply when an SMSF buys a property. So you'll need to get it valued, but it is a transfer and I do believe you will pay stamp duty.

Your question is, on the face of it, really simple.

But the technical nature of an SMSF makes it a real minefield, so it is really important that you go to your SMSF adviser, probably your accountant, and get professional, detailed advice.

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Paul Clitheroe AM is a respected financial adviser and Money's chairman and chief commentator. He is chair of the Australian Government Financial Literacy Board, and author of several personal finance books. Click here to email Paul your money question. Unfortunately Paul cannot respond to questions posted in the comments section.
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