Project Super Scheme Smart

The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) has launched Project Super Scheme Smart, a program designed to help people to safeguard their retirement savings.

The ATO aims to ensure that people are protected from fraudulent advice and inappropriate tax schemes.

The Project Super Scheme Smart is an initiative to educate the public and advisors about retirement planning schemes that warrant a closer look by the ATO.

Retirement planning makes good sense provided it is carried out within the tax and superannuation laws. Currently we are seeing a number of schemes targeting Australians planning for their retirement, which encourage individuals to channel money inappropriately through their self-managed superannuation fund (SMSF).  We encourage you to be Super Scheme Smart and not be tempted by ‘too good to be true’ tax avoidance schemes.  Don’t risk your retirement savings.

Individual taxpayers who adopt an illegal scheme identified by the ATO may attract severe penalties under tax laws and risk losing their nest egg.  Individuals could also lose their rights as a trustee to manage and operate their SMSF, forcing some SMSFs to close.

As part of the initiative, the ATO has released information on its website, along with a video and an information pack. There is also a dedicated telephone number and an email address to report or make inquiries about tax schemes.  Some schemes identified by the ATO include, but are not limited to:

  • dividend stripping—where the shareholders in a private  company transfer ownership of their shares to a related SMSF  so that the company can pay franked dividends to the SMSF.
  • non-arm’s length limited recourse borrowing  arrangements—when an SMSF trustee undertakes limited  recourse borrowing arrangements (LRBAs) established or  maintained on terms that are not consistent with an arm’s length dealing.
  • Personal services income—where an individual (with an  SMSF often in pension phase) diverts income earned from  personal services to the SMSF where it is concessionally taxed  or treated as exempt from tax.

If in doubt, please refer to the ATO website for further information about Project Super Scheme Smart or contact your Pinnacle Advisor.


  • the provider of the advice is not a registered tax (financial) adviser
  • if the receiver of the advice intends to rely on the advice to satisfy liabilities or obligations or  claim entitlements that arise, or could arise, under a taxation law, the receiver should request  advice from a registered tax agent or a registered tax (financial) adviser.