Practical Compliance Guidelines PCG 2016/5 Income tax - arm's length terms for Limited Recourse Borrowing Arrangements established by self managed superannuation funds (Guideline) sets out further guidance as to how existing non-commercial limited recourse borrowing arrangement (LRBA) loans from related parties to self managed superannuation funds (SMSFs) can be put on commercial terms by 30 June 2016. If such loans are on commercial terms by that date and with effect for the 2015/16 year then the ATO will accept that such loans are on commercial terms and that they will not trigger the application of the non-arm’s length income (NALI) rules. The ATO has said that it will not select an SMSF for a review purely on the basis that it had a loan on a non-commercial basis for previous years.
In our previous Sladen Snippet, we confirmed that the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) will not take active steps to review non-commercial limited recourse borrowing arrangement (LRBA) loans prior to 30 June 2016, but that such LRBA loans should be put on arm’s length terms by 30 June 2016. If that occurs then the ATO has stated that it will not actively review such non-commercial LRBAs in prior years.
The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) has confirmed that it will not take active steps to review non-commercial limited recourse borrowing arrangement (LRBA) loans prior to 30 June 2016.
Self Managed Superannuation Fund (SMSF) trustees are being encouraged to rectify their non-commercial LRBA loans by putting them on arm’s length terms by 30 June 2016. If that occurs then the ATO has confirmed that it will not actively review such non-commercial LRBA loans in prior years. Although not expressly stated on the ATO’s website, the ATO has indicated that such rectification does not need to be retrospective.
The income tax look-through treatment for limited recourse borrowing arrangements (LRBAs) is now law with the Tax and Superannuation Laws Amendment (2015 Measures No 2) Act 2015 receiving royal assent on 16 September 2015. This means that, effective from 1 July 2007, a super fund under a LRBA will generally be treated as the owner of an asset bought under the arrangement for income tax purposes (including for capital gains tax purposes). This includes that the bare trust under an LRBA does not need a tax file number and does not need to lodge a tax return.