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Summary of Assessable Assets of Partnerships Only

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This topic provides a summary of assessable assets for pensions that relate to partnerships only.

Summary table - assessable assets for pensions

The following table summarises the assessable assets, and their treatment, from a partnership's business for pensioners.

Asset

Treatment

Business assets

  • Assess the pensioner's share of the current value of business assets, less business liabilities. This is the sum of the pensioner's capital and current account plus their share of adjustments, either excess or deficit, from the balance sheet, as per the partnership agreement or a proportion of profit distributions.
  • Add this to the pensioner's personal assets to determine if they are under the assets test threshold.

Loans to the business by a partner

  • Treat them as an injection of capital in the business.
  • Allow any liabilities on the balance sheet as deductions against business assets.
  • Add them back, however, to the value of the applicable partner's interest in the business.

Loans to the business by persons other than a partner

  • Assess them as 'loans' if the lender is a  DVA pensioner.
  • Take into account as liabilities when calculating the assessable value of the business.

Loans by the business to a partner

Include them as assets when calculating the overall value of the business, but deduct the pensioner's loan from the assessable value of the interest in the business.

Loans by the business to persons other than the owner

Assess them as the personal financial investments of the partners in the proportion to which they share these assets.

Non-partnership assessable assets providing security for business liabilities where the business has a net deficiency

Deduct the pensioner's share of the amount of the deficiency from the value of the assessable assets providing security.

Value if the pensioner's share of interest in the partnership is a deficiency, but their spouse's interest in the same partnership has an assessable value

  • The amount of the deficiency is the value of the interest in a partnership held by one member of a couple.
  • Offset this against the assessable value of the interest held by their spouse in the same partnership.


An asset means any property, including property outside Australia.

For the purposes of income and assets assessment, a partnership is the relationship which exists between people carrying on business in common, with a view to making a profit. A partnership agreement may be oral OR written. The business may be run:

  •       in the owners' name(s), or
  •       under a registered business name.

The business is not a separate legal entity, which means that although the partnership lodges a tax return, the profit or income is assessable in the hands of the individual partners.

Each partner:

  •       owns an agreed portion of the business assets,
  •       receives an agreed portion of the profits, and
  •       is 'jointly and severally' liable for all business debts.

Profit, for a business, is the amount of earnings in excess of its expenses over 12 months.

According to Section 5E(2) of the VEA a person is a member of a couple, if they are:

  • legally married to another person and is not living separately and apart from the other person on a permanent basis; or
  • living in a prescribed registered relationship with the other person (whether of the same sex or a different sex) and is not living separately and apart from that other person on a permanent basis; or
  • all of the following conditions are met:
  • living with another person, whether of the same sex or a different sex;
  • not legally married to that person;
  • in a de facto relationship with that person; and
  • not in a prohibited relationship

The term “partnered” is also commonly used.