Residency Rules

Trustees must ensure that their SMSF remains an Australian SMSF. SMSFs that breach the residency rules are taxed at the marginal rate of 49% rather than the concessionary rate of 15%, so make sure that your SMSF qualifies as an Australian superannuation fund.

Trustees can set up and manage a self-managed superannuation fund from overseas if they are outside Australia temporarily. The ATO’s temporary absence rules generally allow a Trustee to be overseas for no more than 2 years, though exceptions can be made due to certain circumstances.

What is the test for Residency?

The SMSF should meet the following three criteria:

  1. The SMSF was established in Australia, or at least one of the SMSF’s assets must be located in Australia
  2. The central management and control of the SMSF is ordinarily undertaken in Australia; and
  3. At least 50% of the SMSF Membership must be in Australia, measured by market value (the Active Member test).

The 3 criteria are discussed below.

Criteria 1: Fund established in Australia

An SMSF is established in Australia when the initial contribution to the SMSF is paid to and accepted by the Trustees in Australia. The Trust Deed does not have to be signed and executed in Australia.

However, an SMSF established outside Australia will satisfy the test if at least one of the Fund’s assets is situated in Australia.

Criteria 2: Central management and control must be in Australia

According to the ATO, the central management and control involves the high-level decision-making processes and activities of the SMSF. The SMSF will be resident where the central management and control takes place.

Criteria 3: The Active Member test

The third test is the ‘active member’ test. This is satisfied when at least 50% of the market value or Fund value is held by active members who are Australian residents. You can only apply for a Self-Managed Super Fund if you are an Australian citizen for Tax purposes. There are 4 tests which are in place to see if you are considered as an Australian resident.

  1. The Resides Test – This is the primary test for tax residency and if you reside in Australia you are automatically considered and Australian resident for tax purposes. Certain factors that determine your residency status are your intention and purpose in Australia, where your family are located, your current employment situation and where your main assets are held. If you are unable to satisfy this test you can still be considered an Australian resident if you satisfy one of the other tests as noted below.
  2. The Domicile Test: A domicile is considered to be your place of birth or where you are currently living with the intent to remain there permanently. You are considered an Australian resident if your domicile in located in Australia.
  3. The 183-day Test: Individuals who are arriving from overseas to Australia will be a resident under this test if you are present for more than half the income year.
  4. The Commonwealth Superannuation Test: This test only applies to Australian government employees working internationally for Australian posts or who are member of a PSS and CSS schemes.

More information

Click here to view the ATO’s guidance on SMSF residency and find out more about super fund residency rules. Please also see here for the ATO’s ruling on tax residency. Further, from the ATO Legal Database, see the relevance of the 2-year rule:TR 2008/9

The ‘two-year rule’

The central management and control of the fund can be taken as ordinarily in Australia even if it is temporarily outside Australia for periods of no more than two years. Unfortunately, the two-year rule is sometimes misunderstood. To clarify: it is not an exception available to all Trustees irrespective of the facts and intentions surrounding their absence.

If an absence is permanent, the two-year rule does not apply. Even an absence of less than two years could be ‘permanent’ and the central management and control could therefore be outside Australia (e.g. if a Trustee or Trustees departed with the intention of being away indefinitely but returned after only 18 months due to ill health).

Conversely, in certain situations, an absence of more than two years may be acceptable. This could be the case for example if a Trustee, leaving the country with the intention of being away for a defined period of less than two years in order to fulfil some specific purpose, was forced to remain overseas due to unforeseen circumstances. In a case such as this, the ATO would normally be satisfied that central management and control of the SMSF continued to be ordinarily in Australia.

If 50% of the Trustees are in Australia and 50% overseas, the central management and control of the Fund is in Australia if both sets of Trustees equally participate in exercising the central management and control, however, the ATO takes the view that this would rarely be the case.

Power of Attorney

Trustees can still be part of a SMSF even if they are overseas on a permanent basis. This is made possible by taking out a Power of Attorney for the management and control of the SMSF. If the majority of Members are overseas, do not contribute to the SMSF as the Active Member Test may trigger the residency of the Fund.


Private Ruling on Residency Status and EPOA

We applied for a Private Ruling on an SMSF where the Members moving overseas appointed power of attorneys before leaving Australia. The Private Ruling resulted in a positive outcome and the Fund continued to remain compliant as long as the Members meet the three residency tests. Below is the sample of the Private Ruling:

Click on the button below for a POA download:



  • Chris

    I’m hung up on the SMSF “residency test” (
    as tax residency makes an even bigger difference than I realized before leaving

    Relevant facts are as follows:
    • All the SMSF’s (the Fund’s) assets are in Australia;
    • All four members of the Fund left Australia in October 2013 for
    a contractual employment opportunity in USA. All four members of the SMSF
    intend to return to Australia in January 2015;
    • The SMSF (the Fund) was established in Australia prior to the
    October 2013 departure;
    • The Fund has two members / trustees (my wife and me). The
    other two members are my children (who are ineligible to be trustees due to
    their age); and
    • I am on paid leave from the Commonwealth Public Service and a
    member of the Public Sector Superannuation Scheme (PSS).

    My assessment of the Fund against the three components of the SMSF
    “residency test” is as follows:
    • “fund was established in Australia, or at least one of the
    fund’s assets is located in Australia”: Clearly satisfied;
    • “central management and control of your fund is ordinarily in
    Australia”: Satisfied given both trustees will be “temporarily out of
    Australia” for 15 months and therefore meet the “up to two years” of the ATO
    guidance; and
    • “your fund must have active members who are Australian [tax] residents
    and who hold at least 50% of the sum of the amounts that would be payable to
    active members if they decided to leave the fund.”: Satisfied since all four
    members remain tax residents of Australia during the period in the USA by
    virtue of my attachment to the Commonwealth Public Service and membership of

    There is no issue here (the Fund remains resident) and I was happy.

    I am now considering extending out my period of absence and
    therefore changing the last two of the original facts as follows:
    • I take Leave without Pay (ie. rather than paid leave) from
    the Commonwealth Public Service. I will remain a member of the PSS, although I
    will be inactive for the period of Leave without Pay;
    • All four members of the SMSF intend to return to Australia in
    January 2017 (not January 2015 as originally planned); and
    • I will likely buy (rather than rent) a house to live in
    while in the USA (but still maintain my house in Australia). This transaction
    will obviously be outside the SMSF!

    Assessing the Fund against the three components of the SMSF
    “residency” test:
    • “fund was established in Australia, or at least one of the
    fund’s assets is located in Australia”: Still clearly satisfied;
    • “central management and control of your fund is ordinarily in
    Australia”: The trustees will be “temporarily out of Australia” for over three
    years and fail the “up to two years” of the ATO guidance. However, we do intend
    to return to Australia in January 2017 and I can demonstrate this aspect (eg. I
    have a job, own property, am currently paying to hold a place at a private
    school for my kids etc); and
    • “your fund must have active members who are Australian [tax] residents
    and who hold at least 50% of the sum of the amounts that would be payable to
    active members if they decided to leave the fund.”: Satisfied since all four
    members remain tax residents of Australia during the period in the USA by
    virtue of my attachment to the Commonwealth Public Service and membership of
    PSS. The fact that my employer and I cease making contributions for the period
    of Leave Without Pay is irrelevant.

    Given I always intend to return to Australia, I believe the intent
    of the second component of the ‘residency test” is satisfied (and the Fund
    remains resident). However, this is inconsistent with the (necessary)
    definitive guideline provided by ATO. I therefore want to make sure of the
    outcome when applied by the Fund’s auditors and indeed ATO.

    A couple of questions arise:
    (a) Do you agree with the above logic (ie. my family and the
    Fund will be [tax] resident)?;
    (b) Who is the “umpire” of residency? Is it ATO or
    have they devolved it to accountants / auditors of the SMSF and / or self
    (c) Do I need to lodge a binding determination with the ATO (or
    the Fund’s auditor) to ensure this outcome is applied to the SMSF?
    (d) The residency test is phrased “in Australia”, but doesn’t
    define this term. By way of example, would it make a difference if the Trustees
    exercised the “strategic and high level decision-making processes of the fund”
    (eg. annual meeting) at the Australian Embassy in Washington (presumably part
    of “Australia”)?
    (e) The other solution I’ve heard suggested is to appoint
    someone as my representative (eg. my brother) who is physically within
    Australia. Is it simply a case of me (as a Trustee) assigning my authority to
    him (to sign annual returns etc) for the duration of my time in the USA? Would
    this make any difference?

    Thank you for your help.

    • Hein Preller


      The main criteria in assessing residency for an SMSF are the intention of
      Trustees. The ATO ruling is not always crystal clear in all cases. In the past, the
      ATO had a 2-year rule and if you went over this time limit, it was a strong
      indication the Fund could be a non-resident. However, if you stay overseas longer than 2 years but you can demonstrate your intention is to return to Australia on a permanent basis, the ATO will most likely consider the SMSF to be a resident Fund.

      There’s a list of criteria the ATO use to assess the intention of Trustees. These criteria is summarised as follows:

      – The intent and actual length of the taxpayer’s stay in the overseas country;

      – Whether the taxpayer intends to stay in the overseas country only temporarily or to leave Australia on a permanent basis;

      – Whether the taxpayer has established a home (in the sense of dwelling place; a house or other shelter that is the fixed residence of a person, a family, or a household), outside Australia;

      – Whether any residence or place of abode exists in Australia or has been abandoned because of the overseas absence;

      – The duration and continuity of the taxpayer’s presence in the overseas country; and

      – The durability of association that the person has with a particular place in Australia, i.e. maintaining bank accounts in Australia, informing government departments such as the Department of Social Security that he or she is leaving permanently and that family allowance payments should be stopped, place of education of the taxpayer’s children, family ties and so on.
      More info here:

      Your last point on approving minutes at the embassy is a potentially valid point – I
      agree this is part of Australia and regarded Australian soil. Most likely not necessary to go to this extent though.
      Lastly, you can consider using a Delegation of Authority (Power of Attorney) if the nature of the Fund changes to a non-resident. This will ensure the central management and control remains in Australia.

      Trust this answer your questions.

      • Mary Traversa

        I have SMSF with approximately $1.8m. My Member account balance represents $1.5m in pension phase and the balance of the fund is in accumulation phase held on behalf on my daughter. I am 66 and my daughter is 42. My husband is 70 and only has around $10,000 in pension mode. I am semi retired and still contribute the maximum allowable concessional amount and, in addition non concessional amounts.
        My daughter and her family are moving overseas to USA as her husband has a five year contract with an overseas subsidiary of a company his currently works for in Australia.
        As they have a young family I will be travelling with them in order to look after my grandchildren while they settle in.
        Maintaining the concessional tax status of the SMSF is imperative for me as it is my main source of income apart from my consultancy income.
        Maintaining residency on a six monthly scenario is not practical. I have no intention of taking up residency in USA and my husband will only be staying in USA spasmodically.
        We have a corporate trustee with the three of us as directors.
        Is there a way that I could spend in excess of 6 months in USA without an adverse affect on my residency and the concessional Tax treatment on the SMSF.

  • Victoria Kong

    Residency issues

    2 members of a SMSF have gone overseas in Feb 2015. Did not appoint enduring
    power of attorney to an Australian resident as at this stage they don’t think
    they will be overseas for more than 2 years. The fund is due to settle a
    property under LRBA in June 2015.


    – trustee company – does an Australian resident need to be appointed as
    director of the trustee company and a member of the SMSF?

    – Can the property under the LRBA still be settled in the super fund?

    – What options do they members have now to comply with the residency requirements? Can they still appoint an Australian resident to have power of attorney?

    • superannuationwarehouse


      If Fund Members are overseas on a temporary basis, this would not breach any residency rules. In general, the ATO looks at the intention of Members to determine if they left Australia on a temporary or permanent basis.

      The question you raise is if a Fund can go about its normal business if the Members are overseas on a temporary basis. The fact that they want to purchase property does not have any direct relationship to the residency status.

      On your question if an Australian resident need to be appointed as director
      of the trustee company and a member of the SMSF – the Members would remain unchanged in the Fund and the POA if for the Trustee function only.

      On the next question – can the property under the LRBA still be settled in the super fund – yes, on the basis the Members are overseas on a temporary basis, the Fund can proceed.

      Please remember the property under LBRA can still be purchased in the Fund. However, a Bare Trust structure must be set up to facilitate the loan. The Fund owns 100% of the Bare Trust and has 100% ownership of the investment property. The main purpose of the Bare Trust is to keep title over the property until the loan is paid off. The property will revert back to the Fund when the loan is repaid.

      Trust this give you the answers you are after.

      • Victoria Kong

        Thanks Hein for your clarification.

        So, the most important issue is the intention of the members, i.e. if they left Australia on a temporary or permanent basis.

        If temporary, say, less than 2 years, then the super fund can go on its normal business and settle the property under the LRBA and the 2 members will still have to remain non-active, i,e, no contributions/rollovers for the members into the fund while they are not Australian tax residents.

        For the trustee company, the trustees should give Power of Attorney to an Australian resident to act as directors while they are overseas. Is this correct?

        • superannuationwarehouse


          In the past, the ATO used 2 years as the benchmark. If you were overseas longer than this, it was regarded a permanent absence and you were not a resident.

          The approach is softer now and they look at your intention. They look at where you call home (place of abode per the ATO terminology), and this is where your residency is. So you can be overseas for several years and still be regarded a resident SMSF.

          Only when you note there is a residency issue, then you do the POA. The POA ensures the management and control of the SMSF remains in Australia, and therefore it will remain a resident Fund.

          Trust this is clear.

  • Greg


    I am a 51 yrs old Australian resident for tax purposes.
    I live in Australia permanently and am employed by a foreign company without an Australian office. I do work a 4 / 4 week rotation.

    I am paid in USD and pay income tax in Australia. My company pays an
    8% pension directly into the employee’s monthly salary and it is up to the employee what
    they do with it. They will not pay anymore and will only pay into one account in
    the employees name. How can I start an SMSF and take advantage of the $35k
    contribution threshold without being either;

    a. Self employed in Australia, or
    b. An employee of an Australian registered company.

    Can it be done ?


    • superannuationwarehouse


      We had a similar question to your situation before and contacted the ATO for guidance.
      Your observation is correct in that your situation its not:

      Self employed in Australia, or

      b. An employee of an Australian registered company.
      This sounds just unfair as you cannot add to your super in a tax-efficient way.
      Please leave it with me for a few days to get a potential answer.


  • Victoria Kong

    Can non active members do rollover into their SMSF while they are overseas if the rollover was fund contributed in the past while the members were active and resident members?

    • superannuationwarehouse


      You can roll over if you are overseas on a temporary basis.

      When the majority of the members (by value) are overseas on a permanent basis, a Fund can be made non compliant.

      It is usually quite easy to set an argument forward to prove the member is overseas on a temporary basis.


      • Wills

        Hi, I’m asking the same question as Victoria but my accountant informs me that I cannot roll over funds from my retail super into our SMSF. Which is puzzling because the funds in my retail super were contributed while I was an Australian resident for tax purposes. Please clarify.

  • Cyril Nathaniel

    Someone age 55 from NZ living in Australia set up a SMSF. Now going back to NZ permanently. Would they access their super? any tax implication?

    • superannuationwarehouse


      If its an SMSF and the majority of Members leave Australia permanently, the SMSF will be regarded as non-resident and therefore non-compliant.

      The two options are:
      1. Appoint a Power of Attorney to ensure the management and control of the Fund remains in Australia, hence keeping it as a resident Fund; or
      2. Roll the balance to a retail or industry super Fund where you will not have residency issues, as the majority of Members are resident.

      Trust this answers your question.

  • Alex Druk

    I am a sole member of a super fund trustee. I am 62 and my fund is in pension phase. I have got my house and mortgage in Australia. My daughter is in Australia too.
    I am divorced.
    I have been away from Australia since 2011.
    For 2 years I was not working, traveling the world. In 2013 I have got employment in the Netherlands with 1 year contract. In July 2014 I submitted my SMSF tax return and was treated as an Australian resident with intention to return to Australia during the 2014-2015 financial year. However, the circumstances changed, I was given another 1 year contract and my health has deteriorated at the same time. Currently I do not have Australian health cover and using my Dutch health cover for the treatment.I did not return to Australia as I had expected.
    Now, with the end of the 2014-2015 financial year is coming up, my fund is under threat of becoming non-resident. Is it possible under these circumstances to apply for an extension of my Super Fund residency status?

  • Dan

    Hi, I am moving overseas permanently but have an SMSF with just 100k in it, wrapped up in managed funds that I will probably never touch until retirement 20 years away, (I also have a company super account). Do I have to wrap the SMSF up even though I wont touch it and ‘may’ return to Australia to retire?

    • Hein Preller

      Dan, if you are the only Member of the Fund or have a majority interest in the SMSF, you need to be a resident for the Fund to be considered a compliant SMSF.
      If you leave Australia on a permanent basis, the two most likely options are to:
      1. Roll over to a retail superannuation fund; or
      2. Appoint a POA to ensure the management and control of the Fund remains in Australia, making it a resident Fund.

      Trust this answers your question.

  • Dan

    Thank you that does answer my question.

  • Steve K

    Can one individual act as Power of Attorney for both directors of a corporate SMSF trustee, or does each director need a different individual to act in the Power of Attorney role?

    • superannuationwarehouse


      This is almost more of a legal question rather than accounting. Remember we are an accounting firm. So my answer is not from a legal perspective.

      Each Director can do a POA. If Each Director happen to give the POA to the same person, its one person representing the Corporate Trustee. Within the Corporate Trustee, the POA represent 2 parties, the Trustee 1 and Trustee 2. I do not see any issues with this.

      Trust this gives you some guidance.

  • Matthew L

    I am currently residing overseas, and am considered a non-resident for tax purposes. I opened a SMSF in September 2014. I will be returning to Australia early 2016. My wife and I are the only trustees of the account. Because I am a non-resident for tax purposes, I assume that means I would likely fail the residency test – would this be correct? I have a power of attorney, although I haven’t specifically allocated them to the SMSF – is this something I have to do? We have not been contributing to the SMSF during our absence.
    What are the implications of being non-complying? Will I have to wrap it up and move back to a retail fund, or could I keep it open and just pay 45% on any income or gains?

    • David S

      I was wondering if you ever got anymore information about this? I am currently residing overseas as a non-resident for Tax purposes and would like to setup an SMSF before i return back to Australia to live and work.

      • Matthew L

        Hi David,

        Yep, I finally had to reach out to the ATO through some tax lawyers to get an answer. Without going too much into it, you cannot set up a SMSF (legally) until you are back in Australia. The implications are that you do not meet the residency test and therefore you are subject to a 45% levy – ON THE ENTIRE AMOUNT!! since the rollover is treated as a contribution in this case. I was able to reach an agreement with the ATO in my case to wind up the SMSF immediately and avoid this.

        So, long story short, wait til you get back to Australia before you set it up.

        Good luck!

        • David S


          Thanks for the information.

      • superannuationwarehouse

        David, the residency rules makes it too much of a grey area to set up an SMSF when you are overseas. In addition, most banks will require you to be in Australia when opening up a bank account.

        Best would be to wait until you are back in Australia before setting up the SMSF.

        • David S

          Bit of a shame, would have been nice to have it all sorted before returning home. Oh well.

          Thanks for the information.

  • Confused by SMSF

    Is a SMSF required to have an active member at all times? My wife and I are overseas and non-resident. Before we departed we both appointed a Legal Personal Representative (via a Power of Attorney). We are the funds only members and are both non-active. I am unsure if the fund still requires an active member in our circumstances. I assume not – but am unable to find a definitive answer. Any thoughts or suggested further reading would be appreciated.

  • Wills


    My husband and I are trustees of our SMSF. We are temporarily overseas for
    employment. Are we able to roll-over funds from our retail superfund into our
    SMSF without breaching SMSF residency rules, more specifically the active member rule?

    My accountant tells me I cannot make contributions or roll overs but in one of
    your Q & A’s it says you can make a roll-over whilst overseas.
    I know the active member test refers to contributions and in some articles I’ve read, contributions includes “roll over benefits”. My reasoning is that the funds for the roll over were contributions made while we were still Australian residents for tax purposes.

    Any assistance is greatly appreciated.

    • superannuationwarehouse

      Wills, if you are overseas on a temporary basis, no problem, you can operate your SMSF as per normal. It may be an issue to set up an SMSF while overseas. But the operating from overseas is no issue. People travel and transfer for work overseas all the time.

  • Harjit


    If there are two member in SMSF can they give POA to two different persons.

    Member “A”
    Member “B”

    Both Member A & B give POA to Mr “C” & Mr “D”


    Member A give POA to Mr C
    Member B give POA to MR D


  • SMSF


    I have a question relating to SMSF – Residency.

    We have a SMSF & both directors have now become a non tax residents as our permanent place of abode is overseas. Therefore, our SMSF is technically non compliant.
    How long do i have to shut the SMSF down post becoming a NTR as i need to liquidate assets? If i have the fund assets sold and SMSF wound down by 30 June would that be ok?
    Would you have any TR or cases that are similar to this.

    Really appreciate your assistance on this !


    • Hein Preller

      At the time you become a non-resident, so would the SMSF.

      Remember you can use many arguments noting why you are still a resident, for example your work overseas is temporary, employed from Australia, main residence in Australia, banking affairs in Australia, medical records kept here etc.

      Another alternative is to appoint a POA ensuring the management and control remains in Australia.

      Having the Fund as non-compliant has harsh tax consequences, so best is not to go there.

      Trust this helps.

  • superman


    Do you have any economical recommendations regarding what to do with a SMSF in the following case?

    – US citizen, moving overseas (leaving Australia)

    – permanent visa still active and cannot be cancelled (meaning the funds cannot be released without a significant tax hit – so not an option)

    – prefer to invest in a variety of securities, including precious metal ETFs.

    I noticed some places will not accept US citizens for their supers (ie IngDirect). I’m looking for a place which will accept US citizens not living in Australia.

    Any advice would be appreciated.


    • Hein Preller


      The potential issue you are faced with is that if you do leave Australia on a permanent basis, the Fund may be made non-compliant. By far the easiest option is to wrap up your SMSF and transfer all funds to a retail super fund, for example Australian Super. As most members in these retail funds are local, this fund will be regarded a local compliant Fund.

      The potential issue is if there’s assets in the SMSF that is not easily convertible to cash or you prefer to invest in asset classes not offered by the retail funds. In this case, you can either:
      1. argue you are absent from Australia on a temporary basis and continue the SMSF

      2. appoint a POA, thereby ensuring the management and control of the Fund remains in Australia.

      Trust this gives you the answers you are after.

  • mr_squigle

    My wife & myself have a SMSF and have for many years. We are hoping to move to America and obtain residency there. As directors I understand that to remain compliant we would have to appoint a new director to keep the fund compliant. Thus being residents of America could we keep receiving a pension without being hit with the top marginal tax rate. Also if & when we move back to Australia could we then take control of the fund.

  • Derek

    Currently there are 3 members in our SMSF. One of the members is intending to move overseas for an extended period. In other words, planning to be non-Australian resident for tax purpose.

    From this article I do not see why there is a need to wrap up the SMSF and transfer benefits of all members to a retail fund. Correct me if I am wrong of course.

    What is the problem if we only make one of the 3 members exit the SMSF? When ringing ATO they also said if only one member wants to leave Australia permanently the member has to exit from SMSF but they do not mention the SMSF has to be wrapped up as what I see in the comments given below.

    Can we argue that this member holds less than 50% value of the overall SMSF asset values therefore this member does not need to leave the fund?

    • superannuationwarehouse


      If a Member with a minority interest in an SMSF move overseas, I agree with you, its not a requirement to close down the Fund. To ensure compliance, make sure your Fund meets all three criteria in the Residency test as explained in the page above.

      If a Member is overseas on a temporary basis, the Fund can continue operating. If a Member leaves on a permanent basis, a possibility is utilising a Power of Attorney for that particular Member. For more information follow this link:

      Trust this gives you the answers you are after.

  • SML

    If an SMSF contains shares in an unlisted company and the members are heading overseas long term (not necessarily indefinite, but more than 2 years) then industry/retail funds are not an option (unless other arrangements are made for the unlisted shares). The options as I understand them are to arrange a POA or, I’m told, to transfer to a Small APRA. What are the pros and cons of choosing one path over the other? All advice much appreciated.

    • superannuationwarehouse

      You are correct in that a retail fund will not take on unlisted shares you have in the SMSF, or for that matter any other assets the SMSF owns, apart from cash.
      The cost of a small APRA Fund is usually prohibitively expensive and only Trustee companies can manage these funds. We are an accounting firm, so if you were with us, the only route is to either ensure residency or do a POA, ensuring the SMSF remains resident.
      Trust this gives you some guidance.

      • SML

        thank you for the prompt response. Much appreciated. queries please::

        If the fund can’t ensure residency are there negatives to having a POA?
        Can the fund ( through POA) be active?
        Must the POA meet certain criteria ( other than residency)?
        Can the members make contributions ( happy not to )?

        Again – many thank.

        • SML

          – apologies – I have just found the link to your page answering the bulk of the above ( and to the ATO). I expect the answers will be there.

          Thank you.

  • CMS

    Hi there – looking for some advice. Currently have a SMSF with two members/trustees who were both due to be overseas for work for 2 years so satisfied the rules. This period has been extended with another overseas job posting opportunity. We would like to continue to hold our SMSF as we are intending to return to Australia once this new opportunity is completed. Can you please confirm the best way to do this without the extra tax implications?

    • superannuationwarehouse

      We don’t give advice on what you should do in your SMSF, but I can tell you what the rules are and it is up to you to operate within these rules.
      If your intention is to come back to Australia, the posting will be regarded as temporary in nature. There is a 2 year rule that is the benchmark for temporary absence. The intention of Trustees are also assessed. So if you place of abode is Australia, you absence is regarded as temporary. Factors the ATO considers in determining residency is where you primary residence is, where medical records are kept, your intention to return to Australia, where holidays are spent and where you call home.
      The ATO page has good guidance on this as well, see here:
      Another option to consider is appointing a POA, but do this when you are in Australia. More guidance here:
      If unsure, ask for written advice from the ATO. We can do this for the Funds we manage:
      Trust this steer you in the right direction.

  • Richard

    I currently live in NZ for 10 years, I was born in Aust and have super in both countries. My wife is born in NZ but also has super in Aust(she lived for 6 years). Are we able to establish a SMSF?

    We are unlikely to return in the near future so I can’t see us satisfying the residency test

    • Hein Preller

      I cant see you meeting the residency test either. The 2 areas of failing to meet the criteria of residency are:
      1. You are not in Australia at the time when the SMSF is set up
      2. Your intention does not seem to be to live in Australia.
      Therefore, as you are the will and mind of the SMSF, the residency criteria is not met.

  • Shane

    I have lived in Ireland for the last 11 years. My mother still lives in Australia and is my power of attorney. Am I able to set up a SMSF with my Australian super?

    • Hein Preller

      If you are not in Australia when setting up an SMSF, the Fund will not be regarded as compliant. Also, when you as Trustee don’t live here, there is a risk the SMSF can be regarded as non-compliant and then taxed by the ATO at a rate of 49%.
      Best to not even risk this.

  • Paul Bryce

    There’s a lot of great information here and I was wondering how residency is determined if the trustee is a company?

    • superannuationwarehouse

      With a Corporate Trustee, we look at the Directors to determine residency. Or the Members (same people).
      When appointing a Legal Personal Representative, we can note this on the ATO records (ABR for Trustees) and also appoint alternative directors in a company.
      Trust this gives you the guidance needed.

  • Jenny Kristanti


    I have an SMSF related query that I hope you would help me with.

    My husband & I have an SMSF which main assets are 2 investment properties plus some cash. We have been living overseas in the last 6+ years and my sister in law is currently the sole trustee of this SMSF with EPOA (she’s not a beneficiary). Our intention is to go back living in Australia again once our overseas work stint completed.

    We’d need to top-up our cash in SMSF to pay for property related costs (ie. mortgage, repairs, etc.). What are our options to do this without jeopardising the SMSF residency status. Could we just transferred fund into the SMSF account?

    Thank you.

    • Hein Preller


      With an EPA in place, its likely your SMSF is still complying with ATO rules and regarded a resident Fund.

      However, when you make a contribution to the Fund or initiate a roll-over to the SMSF, the active Member test may be triggered. From the facts noted above, this may be an issue for your Fund.

      Therefore, if a Member of an SMSF becomes a non-resident but still wishes to make contributions, they should do this outside of their SMSF, for example through a retail or industry super fund. They can then roll over the contributions to their SMSF when they return as an Australian resident.

      Residency in SMSF’s a very topical issue at the moment. If non-resident Members wish to add funds to their SMSF while overseas, the options are limited.

      If the issue is to fund the SMSF for property maintenance or other cashflow requirements, the only option I can think of is a related party loan from you to the SMSF until such time you can do a contribution to the SMSF, at which time the loan can be settled.

      • Jenny Kristanti

        Many thanks for the information. Much appreciate it!

  • Noel O’Sullivan

    I’m very interested in the above information on SMSF residency and how to applies to me.

    I left Australia for the UK late 2015. I left all of my investments in Australia (both inside and outside of Super) and a leased apartment which I intend to move back into.

    My intention was to remain for less than 2 years doing IT contracting but in the early half of 2017 I decided to marry and my wife wanted to do it on this side of the world. As a result, we postponed our move to Australia but will be moving back in the next couple of months (arriving July 2018). Would this set of circumstances likely meet the ATO’s definition of “management and control normally” being in Australia? I’m concerned about the SMSF having become non-complying in my absence.

    • Superannuation Warehouse


      From the scenario you describe, it seems clear your intention was always to return to Australia and your absence to be of a temporary nature. Therefore, the central management and control of the fund most likely remains in Australia.

      Possible factors that may support your argument that your absence is temporary in nature are as follows:

      1. Your intention to return to Australia at the expiration of the 2 year period of IT contracting;

      2. The entire period of the absence, including the additional 12 months, was related
      to the fulfillment of a specific purpose;

      3. You did not establish a home outside Australia; and

      4. You continued to maintain your home and other assets in Australia which
      indicates a continued association with Australia.

      It is possible to obtain ATO specific advice regarding your SMSF’s residency status. We can obtain this advice for you:

      Trust this gives you a level of comfort.

      • Noel O’Sullivan

        Thanks a lot. This is very clear. It may well be worth getting an ATO ruling, so I will get in touch to see about this.

  • Brent

    Hi, is there any risk in setting up a POA, for example can they make decisions for the SMSF without my knowledge or withdraw funds? I’m planning on being out of Australia for possibly longer than two years, and don’t really want to liquidate my SMSF into a retail fund.

    • Hein Preller


      You can set the parameters under which the POA operates. Note the conditions to safeguard your Member balance in the POA document when appointing the replacement Trustee.

      In addition to this, make sure you do not give your passwords away. Even with the central management and control resting in Australia, you can still be the party executing transactions, e.g. buying shares and paying expenses.

      Keep well,

      • Brent

        Thank you Hein for your reply. If I wanted to liquidate my smsf and put it into a retail fund, what should I do with a percentage of it (about 15%) that is in RateSetter invested for 5 years?

        • Hein Preller


          To close an SMSF, all assets must be sold. The balance in cash is then rolled out to another Fund or taken as a lump sum if you meet a condition of release.

          The process to lodge a final SMSF annual return is similar to winding up a company. We explain the steps here:

          For an illiquid asset like the one noted, you have to realise it. So either wait for it to mature or liquidate early.

          Please advise if you want us to wind up your SMSF.

          • Brent

            Thanks again Hein for your quick reply. If I were to liquidate the 85% and roll it over (as I have to wait for the illiquid investment to mature in 5 years), would I be taxed any extra on the funds being rolled out to another fund? Would I also, after two years, be taxed at 49% on the 15% that has to remain invested until 2023?

          • Hein Preller


            An SMSF is not taxed on the amount it rolls over to another Fund. The only thing you may be taxed on in this scenario is the realised capital gain.

            Further good new – the tax rate is 15% and then discounted to 10% if you held the asset for more than 12 months. More on tax here:

            Keep well,

          • Brent

            Thanks again Hein. To avoid the 10% tax on the capital gain if I liquidate, maybe I should wait until I commence a pension? Also still not sure about the roughly 15% of my SMSF that is tied up for 5 years, would I be taxed at 49% on it after two years of being out of Australia?

          • Hein Preller


            Thats correct – if you can defer the realisation of the asset until you are in the pension phase, you are taxed at the rate of NIL. This is the ultimate objective in super. So in effect an SMSF is a tax haven, right here in Australia.

            If your SMSF is compliant with ATO rules, which includes residency rules, its taxed at the concessional rate of 15% while in the accumulation phase. The penalty rate is 49% if your SMSF in non-compliant. With this in mind, if you know you are going to be overseas, execute a POA to ensure residency requirements are met. Unless you want to pay higher taxes.

            Trust this steer you in the direction you want.

          • Brent

            Very good, thanks Hein

  • Naomi


    I have a question relating to residency of a fund where one of the members is mentally incapacitated. The family (mum, dad & two kids) relocated to the US for treatment for dad, who had suffered a head injury. The relocation is indefinite, so the accountant is looking an arranging an EPOA.

    After dad’s injury and prior to the move, dad had resigned as trustee(being deemed mentally incapacitated) and mum had stepped into his place of trustee as LPR to ensure the fund continues to satisfy the SMSF definition in s 17A.

    What happens with mum’s EPOA now that the family is moving overseas – will the person with this power of attorney assume mum’s duties as LPR and stand in place for dad also to ensure the fund continues to satisfy s 17A? Until now dad remains a fund member.


    • Hein Preller


      One of the reasons of using an EPOA can be to ensure residency requirements are met. It ensures the central management and control of the SMSF remains in Australia.

      I note the reason for mum’s EPOA appointment is the incapacity. If she then moves overseas, the residency issues might have a negative effect on the SMSF.

      If the SMSF is set up with individual Trustees, do a replacement EPOA, if there’s a Corporate Trustee, consider appointing alternative Directors.

      Trust this gives you the guidance needed.

      • Naomi

        Unfortunately dad did not provide mum with EPOA before his accident. Being mentally incapacitated, he could not arrange it after this time. Mum stepped in to act in his place as his LPR.

        It leaves mum in a difficult position now that the family are moving overseas. The fund does have a corporate trustee, thankfully.

        Are you suggesting that mum appoint an EPOA but as an alternate director?
        This makes sense – can I check that I’m understanding correctly:

        1. Mum continues as a director, standing in place of dad as his LPR – so s 17A is satisfied;
        2. Mum appoints an alternate director with EPOA, who will assume CM&C while mum is overseas & is not acting in this capacity – the fund continues as a resident fund.


        • Hein Preller


          Your understanding is correct. The EPOA is executed via the Corporate Trustee as an alternative Director. If we act as the accountant for your Fund, we are an ASIC agent and update the ASIC registers accordingly.

          Keep well,

  • Gary Wallace

    Hi. I have been working in Thailand for 18 months and want to make sure my SMSF meets the current ATO requirements for a SMSF if I continue to work overseas.

    Are you able to help?

    • Hein Preller


      The ATO looks at the intention of Trustees and if they reside overseas on a permanent basis, an SMSF may loose its compliance status. As a general rule, if you are overseas on temporary basis, the ATO allows a Trustee to be overseas for up to 2 years while still regarding the SMSF to be compliant.

      If you are overseas for an extended period of time, it may be prudent to implement a Power of Attorney. This is a document signed in Australia where you hand the central management and control of the SMSF to a resident to ensure the SMSF remains complying.

      We give a copy of the POA on this page. We are familiar with its implementation and there may be a slight variances in execution depending on individual or a Corporate Trustee structure.

      Let me know if we can assist.

  • John

    We have a corporate trustee for our SMSF with me and my wife being directors and members of the fund. I have been overseas for over a year. I’ve been back twice in that time in Australia as I still have property and family in Australia. There is a fair chance that I will be staying overseas for longer than the two years. I read that you have to set the POA before you leave Australia. Is it too late to set it up? I still don’t know if I will stay longer than 2 years. If I do, I am planning to come back a few months before the 2 years up and do the POA. Will I still be compliant?

  • HamishinFrance

    I am in France closing in on two years my wife & I have a SMSF. Our plan was to come here to help a family member (mother in law), with her ailing husband. We are still here dealing with these issues. I have a SMSF with my wife that only has shares in a public unlisted company, shares are sellable but it may take time. We still do not know our plans for the future it could go either way. It seems my only option is to use a Power of Attorney to run our SMSF or wind up. My preference is POA. Can anyone help me with advice on this issue? I am calling ATO tomorrow to discuss.

    • Superannuation Warehouse

      Even with on overseas stay of over 2 years, the absence from Australia can still be regarded to be of a temporary nature. So it’s unlikely you are at risk of making the SMSF non-compliant.
      To execute a POA, print off the form from the link above and execute it. Ask you accountant to note it on your SMSF.
      Best wishes

  • Sid

    We have an SMSF and have moved overseas temporarily (with a view of 2 years on a 2 year visa), we have been overseas for 8 months already, my question is, if circumstances change and we wish to stay overseas longer than 2 years – is it best to get an EPOA done now or wait till we definitely know if we will stay longer than 2 years? Also we have a corporate Trustee setup. Lastly will your company be able to assist with this? If so would the management of the SMSF need to be transferred to your company?

    • Superannuation Warehouse


      Its best to execute the EPOA while the SMSF is stll in a complying status.

  • Nathan

    I have a question about setting up a smsf while I am residing overseas.
    My wife and I are both Australian citizens. She has been out of the country for almost 3 1/2 years. I have been out of the country for almost 2 1/2 years.
    I understand that I could appoint an Australian power of attorney to manage the fund.
    I understand that we can’t contribute to the fund while overseas.
    I understand that technically a smsf can be set up from overseas.
    I cant quite get my head around the 2 year rule and if my amount of time overseas will actually prevent me from setting up a complying fund from the start. I read a private ruling linked from your website that seemed very similar to our situation except that it was in the pension phase and it had been set up while they were still Australian residents.
    Any clarity you could provide on this question would be appreciated.
    Thanks in advance for your time!
    Kind Regards, Nathan

    • Superannuation Warehouse


      The ATO takes a fairly conservative view in cases like this.

      An SMSF is a type of Trust and gets taxed at the concessional rate of 15%. To be eligible for this low tax rate, an SMSF has to be complying. One of the rules it that an SMSF must meet the residency test. Setting up an SMSF from overseas will not meet the criteria.

      Best is to wait until you reside in Australia on a permanent basis and then proceed.

      • Nathan

        Thank you for your reply. If I physically return to Australia to establish the fund, is there a residency test the ATO uses that defines what you refer to as a “permanent basis”? Once again I appreciate your thoughts.

        • Superannuation Warehouse


          The ATO will look into your intention to stay in Australia for an indefinite period to manage the Fund.

          You must be an Australian citizen to apply for an SMSF. It is an ATO requirement that the central management of the Fund and at least 50% of the Members in the Fund must be in Australia to satisfy the residency requirements. In addition, the ATO may look at your place of abode. They look at where you call home, where your main residence is, where medical records are kept, where bank accounts are kept and where you spend your family Christmas holidays. So the scope can be quite wide.

          There is a focus the real intention where you live to establish residency..

  • Robert Badman

    I have an SMSF and am currently in the UK, having moved here from Australia end of January 2019. We moved with the intention of staying no longer than about 18 months to spend time with my British wife’s family. We are now in a situation with the global pandemic where we may very well need to stay longer than the two years’ grace period for being temporarily outside Australia. Therefore, I have two questions:

    1) In order for me to hang on to my SMSF, would it be possible for me to arrange for an EPOA to be set up while I am currently and still in the UK? That is, would it likely be possible to arrange with electronic signatures via email without me having to travel back to Australia (which is impossible during the pandemic anyway?) (I have a willing and trusted person in mind who has agreed in principle to act as the Australian-based director of the fund.)

    2) Would I need to find a lawyer in Australia who can carry out the electronic signatures and act as a legal witness?


    • Superannuation Warehouse


      Based on your question, it seems your intention was to be absent from Australia on a temporary basis. With the Covid upon you, the 2 year period is more a guideline than a set timeline and on the basis your intention remains unchanged, the SMSF will most likely remain compliant.

      Superannuation legislation allows a legal personal representative, who holds an EPOA to be appointed as a Director of the Corporate Trustee in place of the Member. The individual who accepts the EPOA must recognise the legal position they are in and the Member in the Fund must understand that the EPOA has complete control to act on behalf of the Member for the decision making in the Fund. For further guidance on EPOA, please see the link here:

      Be mindful that to execute the EPOA it must be signed and witnessed in full. It is your choice as Trustee if you wish to contact a lawyer for further guidance and execution of the EPOA. Generally, any one over 18 can act as a witness. Please note there are programs that allow for online signatures.

      It important to execute the EPOA while the SMSF is still in a complying status.

  • Anca Neagoie

    Please Help!! Re-posting here too.
    1. We were advised to invest our super into a smsf fund . The fund invested in a property ,
    2. Our company then posted us overseas (because of business closures and job losses in Australia) and we advised the financial advisor for the fund a
    number of times that we were going overseas with the intention to return to Australia.
    At no stage did we receive any response from the advisers suggesting that this would lead to significant issues in the future.
    3. We now understand that we could lose all our investment in this fund because of the residency restrictions around smsf we just became aware. We are still overseas.The fund ran out of money and we cannot service the mortgage. This is our life savings. We are very concerned about our future. We continue to support our children at university and secondary school.
    We are very concerned about our future. Can you advise us what we can do?
    We contacted other financial adviser and indicated we should sell. With the current state of the market due to COVID this will be a disaster. The current ones – that failed to advise are not saying anything – it’s like we do not exist.
    We wrote to the ATO early this week asking for a private ruling – no answer so far .
    Any suggestions of where to turn for help? This is our entire nest egg and we are loosing everything. We are desperate. Thank you.

    • Superannuation Warehouse


      Please note the ATO does not take a big stick approach towards residency requirements surrounding SMSFs. If you explain your situation, the ATO will most likely rule in your favour if you can illustrate you tried to do the right thing.

      In your current situation, remain patient until the Tax Office return with the private ruling response. To our understanding, the SMSF must follow three criteria surrounding residency requirements. If the Fund fails to meet the residency criteria, the SMSF may be deemed Non-Complying and taxed at the marginal rate of 49%. For further guidance, please consider completing the Trustee Education Course here:

      Be mindful, the ATO will look at your intention to reside overseas on a permanent or temporary basis when determining the Funds residency status.

      In the interim, please await the ATOs private response in relation to your current situation and monitor your Trustee duty when operating an SMSF to ensure the Fund is a Complying SMSF.

  • Cat

    Hi, just moved overseas at have SMSF with one property. I have everything in order to be compliant for next 2 years as we are considered foreign residents for tax purposes so I’m clear with the rules so far. However, what I want to understand is, can I make a non concessional super contribution while being considered as a foreign resident for tax purposes? As we have no payments being paid into the funds to assist paying the mortgage, I wanted to make a contribution to assist with payments? I can’t find anything that address this question. Thanks

    • Superannuation Warehouse

      We have another Fund in the exact same situation as you so I understand the intricacies of your situation.
      Technically if you as Trustees are non-resident, no contributions can be made. A better approach is to illustrate that your absense from Australia is temporary. Arguments to use is your intention to return, work availability overseas and the fact you are saving for your retirement in Australia.
      On the basis the Fund is resident and complying, you can make the contributions.

      • Cat

        Thank you!
        Just to clarify that I have understood correctly. We are overseas for a 2yr contract and intend to return to australia as we are Australian citizens.
        Under these circumstances, although I am a non resident for tax purposes while overseas for 2 years, I can still make the non concessional contributions to the funds as long as I don’t go over the $100k per year limit?
        Is that correct? Cat

        • Superannuation Warehouse

          For compliance, make a file note that your absense from Australia is temporary.
          Then to make to contributions, its $100k per member or you can utilise the bring-forward rules to make it up to $300k per Member:

          Keep well,

          • Cat

            Great! Thank you for clarifying:)

  • Saintly

    Residency Rules
    I have a quick query around residency and also a member with a disability
    A family is looking to set up a SMSF and wants to have 5 intended members and individual trustees , mum , dad and 3 children ( and i know can only have 4 members )
    One of the children lives overseas and has no intention coming back at present
    1/ Is the child living overseas ( 20 years of age ) able to be a member and trustee of the SMSF when SMSF is set up in Australia as he does not live here ? especially if he will be away for over 2 years and no intention to come back home
    As i understand they will lose compliant status if he is a trustee and does not meet the residency rules

    2/ another child is 30 years of age and is permanently disabled and will never work again . is there restrictions around him being a member and trustee ?
    Assuming he is mentally able to make decisions on his own behalf

    Many thanks for your help


    • superannuationwarehouse

      There’s talk of amending the Membership rules in SMSF’s to allow for 6 Members. This should be legislated soon and the extra Members can then be accommodated in an SMSF.
      Regarding your questions:
      1. You can add an overseas Member in, just make sure they don’t own the majority of the SMSF and therefore make the SMSF non-compliant.
      2. No issue to add a child in, even if disabled.
      Something you may also want to consider is the Binding Death Benefits or estate planning and we give some good guidance here:
      Keep well

  • Avir

    My husband and I currently are the sole trustees of our SMSF. We intend leaving Australia permanently in the next few months. I am 58. He is 63 and is in pension mode. We will need the funds from our super to fund ourselves in our new home. I am reluctant to wind up our SMSF to rollover into one of the super funds for 2 reasons. I am reluctant to have to pay tax when we liquidate and our returns have been pretty good. If we go overseas , don’t make any contributions and have an EPA could we keep the SMSF going? I understand we cant take advantage of the 2 year leeway because our intention at the time of leaving would be to not return to live in Australia.

    • superannuationwarehouse

      SMSF’s enjoy a concessional tax rate on the basis all ATO rules are complied with. An important rule is to ensure residency.
      If you want to continue the Fund, make sure the central management and control is transferred to some one in Australia before you leave the country. The objective here is to ensure the Fund is not controlled from overseas an the complying status is lost.
      We find that using a Corporate Trustee in these circumstances are useful as the new parties are appointed as Alternative Directors.
      Please advise if we can execute this for you.

      • Avir

        Can you please explain exactly what a corporate trustee is please.. would both my husband and I have to resign as trustees?

  • Craig Freeman

    Residency requirements of a SMSF?

    After the COVID19 vaccine & borders are open again, we are planning to travel/live 8 months overseas and around 4 months in Australia.
    We will keep our home, car, mailing address, continue to pay rates & bills like telstra, etc.
    Always having the intention to return & reside in Australia.

    In this case we are never away permanently and comply with the under 2 year rule absence.

    Will this meet the ATO Criteria for Central management and resident rules based in Australia?

    Thank you

    • superannuationwarehouse


      The ATO gives some great examples of the way they interpret residency in the tax ruling TR20089. This document is downloadable via the green button above.

      The situation of your SMSF is similar to example 3 noted in paragraph 38-40 in the ruling noted above.

      There is a strong indication your Fund meets the residency requirements.

  • William Buchanan

    Hi There,

    I would just like to enquire about creating a SMSF with your company. I have not had a SMSF before, my super is currently with a retail provider.

    I am a New Zealand citizen and currently reside in NZ. I have lived and worked in Australia over the years and hence accumulated an Australian super. I am not currently working in Australia or planning to make any contributions to my Australian super for the foreseeable future.

    Utilising an EPOA is it possible for me to convert to a SMSF using a corporate trustee and maintain an ‘Australian SMSF’


    Many thanks

    • Superannuation Warehouse

      For an SMSF to be compliant, it must be a resident. Residency rest where the Members and Trustees reside.
      To set up an SMSF from overseas is just not the way to go. Too much risk for ATO non-compliance. Your advantage in a retail fund is that the majority of Members reside in Australia, so no residency issues.
      So a direct answer – its technically possible but have to be set up when you are in Australia. But most likely just not practical.
      Keep well,

  • Arv


    I would like to get some information regarding SMSF setup.

    My friend is an Australian citizen but temporarily living in the USA since mid 2019. She left Australia in Jan 2019, went to home land, got married and moved to the USA in mid 2019. She along with her spouse could not return to Australia due to covid and are planning to travel back around next year end.

    I have introduced her to crypto and have recommended that she open a SMSF account and invest her existing super funds in cryptocurrencies and stocks for diversification. She is very much excited with the idea but we are wondering whether she is allowed to open the SMSF account and operate the account from the USA temporarily? and continue from Australia, once back?

    Please note that she has no income generated since Jan 2019 as her spouse takes care of her expenses, however, her Australian life insurance payments get deducted from the Australian bank account every fortnightly.

    Please advise if she is eligible to open a SMSF account and if she is then which trustee (corporate/Individual) is advisable for her and when can she kick start the process with you and what details are needed from her for the paperwork? Can she nominate someone and provide POA to operate from Australia (worst case scenario to comply with ATO rules)?

    Thanks & Regards,

    • Superannuation Warehouse


      The ATO follows the letter of the law with residency rules.

      A requirement is for all Trustees to be in Australia when the SMSF is set up. It can’t be executed from overseas. So you have to be physically present in Australia to set up an SMSF. The ATO also does random phone interviews and if a Trustee is overseas, she will most likely be contacted by the ATO.

      So in this case you will have to wait until she returns to Australia.

  • ZAS

    So I have a corporate SMSF structure, as long as I take out POA and do not contribute more funds to the SMSF, I can stay overseas permanently, no issues right? How much do charge for POA?

    • Superannuation Warehouse

      You should execute the POA while in Australia. We can assist and it will be $350.

  • Whitney

    Hi, if someone is not an Australian citizen for tax purposes but was born in Australia and has a TFN and Australian taxable income, are they still eligible to join an SMSF? The SMSF is meets the three criteria above and the existing sole director holds more than 50% of the assets.

    Furthermore is that person able to make concessional contributions into the SMSF whilst residing overseas permanently? What does the legislation say about this?

    • Superannuation Warehouse


      If you have a TFN, you can be added to the Fund. As far as contributions go, just make sure the majority of the Fund is in Australia. You can look at the ATO guidelines above for more detail.
      On the basis you have a minority stake in the SMSF, there wont be any compliance issues.
      In addition to this, we work totally online so signing documents is catered for.

      Keep well,

      • Whitney

        Thanks for this, however you have stated the following above, so my understanding of this would be that they are not eligible to contribute?

        “Power of Attorney

        Trustees can still be part of a SMSF even if they are overseas on a permanent basis. This is made possible by taking out a Power of Attorney for the management and control of the SMSF. While overseas, Members are not allowed to contribute to the SMSF.”

        • Superannuation Warehouse

          In your case you can contribute while overseas.
          The Active Member Test allows you to contribute. This means if there’s other active Members in the SMSF and you own less than 50% of the total, you can contribute while overseas.
          The majority of the SMSF is in Australia, so its complying.

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Superannuation Warehouse is an accounting firm and do not provide financial advice. All information provided has been prepared without taking into account any of the Trustees’ objectives, financial situation or needs. Because of that, Trustees are advised to consider their own circumstances before engaging our services.