Taking the Risk is Not Worth It: Tax Office Rejects Grubisa’s Superannuation Guidance

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In reaction to the ASIC and Federal Court intervention by the ACCC, The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) has cautioned citizens against taking heed of guidance about superannuation given by so-called asset protection specialist Dominique Grubisa.

The year ended in disappointment for the self-proclaimed financial whiz. In February 2021, news about Dominique Grubisa’s asset protection product began to spread. She was convincing her clients that if they had a self-managed super fund (SMSF), it could be mortgaged to the “Vestey” Trust as part of an allegedly “impenetrable forcefield”.

Grubisa’s promises went even further. If you have a high amount of cash in your SMSF, she suggested the best way to guarantee security is to move that money into an account under “Vestey” Trust—her assurance is more secure than ever.

In a particular document shared with customers of Master Wealth Control Pty Ltd (which is not a law firm), this guidance was highlighted.

The ATO has cautioned that such arrangements would violate Superannuation Legislation, particularly the Superannuation Industry (Supervision) Act 1993 and the Superannuation Industry (Supervision) Regulations 1994.

The ATO said: “We are anxious about any asset protection strategies that suggest they can shield SMSF assets from creditors by securing them to a Vestey Trust, commonly known as an ‘asset protection trust’.” 

In April, ASIC (Australian Securities and Investments Commission) barred Grubisa from the financial and credit services sector for four years. Although she has disputed the decision, her appeal is still pending. 

Last June, the Victorian Legal Services Board and Commissioner announced that Grubisa was no longer authorised to practice law and is currently evaluating what further disciplinary action should be taken.

In December, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) took action in the Federal Court to address deceptive practices. 

Before Christmas, the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) issued a public alert about Grubisa’s guidance concerning superannuation and her asset protection product.

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