things to be aware of before deciding

Know your responsibilities

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All trustees/directors of SMSFs are equally responsible for the running of the fund for the benefit of its members. You should understand your responsibilities before setting up your fund. You can learn more about SMSFs from the ATO website here. Also, please ensure that all members/directors can access their super, are eligible to run an SMSF and satisfy the residency rules

You Must NEVER Use The Funds For Personal Use

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You can not access your superannuation until you reach retirement age. Make sure you do not use use the funds for personal use. Not even for 1 day. Using your SMSF funds for personal use can get you a jail sentence, a fine and your assets frozen. Check out the ATO website to see when you can access your super. 

Keeping things separate

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All SMSF accounts and transactions must be kept totally separate from your personal accounts. So you need to set up dedicated SMSF accounts for banking, crypto exchange accounts etc. Mixing funds with personal accounts could end you up with a hefty fine from the government.  So make sure you check with us if you are unsure.

Check your insurances

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Retail super funds can often give better insurance deals than you can get with an SMSF because they buy 1000's of policies at a time. If you are on a good deal and want to keep it, you can keep a few thousand in your old fund to keep the policies active and rollover the rest. The rules are different with different funds so call your provider to find out more. 

No borrowing, leveraging or shorting allowed

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You cannot borrow, leverage or short any crypto within the SMSF. No exceptions. Doing so could leave you with a government fine. You can borrow to purchase property in an SMSF if you set up a bare trust which we can offer for additional costs.

Approved exchanges and data feeds.

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You may only trade on our approved exchanges, CoinSpot and Independent Reserve. You are also required to provide "read only" access to SMSF accounts via API or data feed where available. This helps us complete work during the year and means less hassle for you at tax time.

100 Transactions per financial year within the fund

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Our $140 per month accounting fees cover the tax returns, audits and compliance on up to 100 transactions within the fund per financial year. This is more than enough for the vast majority of clients. Additional transactions will be charged at $4.40 per transaction.

Privacy coins must be kept on the exchange at all times

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You are permitted to purchase privacy coins on approved exchanges but they must be kept on the exchange at all times. You must not move privacy coins off the exchange at any time. This is because the auditors are unable to verify the location of the coins once off the exchange. Moving privacy coins off the exchange will attract a fine.

Buying gold and other precious items in your SMSF

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You can buy gold and precious metals in your SMSF. If storing it at home you need to get it insured under a policy held by the SMSF. Be sure you can get insured before purchasing the precious metals otherwise you will need to keep it with a custodian. See our blog post about holding gold in your SMSF here.

Multiple members in the SMSF

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You can have up to 4 members in your SMSF. While the setup costs are the same regardless of how many people are in the fund, funds with additional members are charged an extra $10 per month per additional member . Each member is equally responsible for the running of the fund. The SMSF runs as one entity so you cannot for example say "this is my gold and this is your bitcoin."  You are all in it together.

The bottom line

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It is important to understand that each person in the fund is acting as a member and a fund manager. You as the fund manager are responsible for investing the member's money for their retirement. It is against the law to borrow from the fund for personal use.

Set up Timeframes

Why it might take longer than 2-3 weeks

The standard time it takes from completing the application until you own assets in your new SMSF is 2-3 weeks. This is true for over 90% of applications. However hold ups can occur. 


The most common hold up is waiting for the ATO to approve the fund. The ATO approval is needed before you can open the bank account or apply for your rollover. If it takes longer than a week for the ATO to approve the fund you are likely getting an initial audit. This is where an ATO representative will double check the paperwork and want to ask you questions to make sure you understand what you are doing.  This will add a few weeks to your set up process as the members will need to book in a time to speak with the ATO rep. Please let us know ASAP if the ATO advise you are getting an initial audit so we can send you an info pack on how to deal with it. The initial audit is nothing to be worried about and New Brighton Capital has never had a client fail the audit.


The ATO states that Initial SMSF audits are random, however from our experience, you are more likely to be flagged for an initial audit if you ...

  • are not up to date with other tax obligations.
  • are unemployed
  • are on government benefits.
  • are a low income earner 
  • have a super balance under $30,000.

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We are here to help.

While New Brighton Capital does not offer financial advise, we are here to help. If you are unsure on some of the ins and outs regarding an SMSF, why not book free consultation with one of our specialists who can answer your questions in plain english?