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Check your fund is an Australian super fund

Your SMSF needs to be a resident regulated super fund at all times during the financial year to receive tax concessions.

Last updated 8 August 2022

Fund residency conditions

An SMSF is an Australian super fund if it meets all 3 of these residency conditions:

  1. The fund was established in Australia, or at least one of its assets is located in Australia.   
    • The fund was 'established in Australia' if the initial contribution to establish the fund was paid and accepted in Australia.
  2. The central management and control of the fund is ordinarily in Australia.   
    • This means the SMSF's strategic decisions are regularly made, and high-level duties and activities are performed, in Australia. It includes  
      • formulating the investment strategy of the fund
      • reviewing the performance of the fund's investments
      • formulating a strategy for the prudential management of any reserves, and
      • determining how assets are to be used for member benefits.
    • In general, your fund will still meet this requirement even if its central management and control is temporarily outside Australia for up to 2 years. If central management and control of the fund is permanently outside Australia for any period, it will not meet this requirement.
  3. The fund either has no active members or it has active members who are Australian residents and who hold at least 50% of either   
    • the total market value of the fund's assets attributable to super interests, or
    • the sum of the amounts that would be payable to active members if they decided to leave the fund.

What to do if members go overseas

If members are planning to go overseas for an extended period, get professional advice about maintaining the residency status of your SMSF.

If a member of your fund becomes a non-resident but still wishes to make or receive contributions, they should do this outside their SMSF, for example through a retail or industry super fund. They can then rollover the contributions to their SMSF when they return as an Australian resident.

If your SMSF fails the residency test, you should roll over your funds to a resident regulated super fund and wind up the SMSF. Otherwise the fund will become non-complying.

More guidance can be found in, TR 2008/9 Income tax: meaning of 'Australian superannuation fund' in subsection 295-95(2) of the Income Tax Assessment Act 1997.

To register your SMSF, see Register your fund and get an ABN.