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On 8 January 2009, the ATO issued Taxpayer Alert TA 2009/1 entitled "Superannuation Illegal Early Release Arrangements". The Taxpayer Alert describes arrangements incorrectly offering people early release of their preserved superannuation benefits prior to retirement without meeting statutory conditions for such release. This Alert reiterates ATO concerns about substantially similar arrangements to those described in TA 2002/3, as well as highlighting additional features of concern that the ATO is currently seeing. In particular, the organiser of the arrangements incorrectly informs Australian resident members that they can use the early release arrangement to gain immediate access to their superannuation contributions for use for personal or investment purposes.

In a media release issued on 8 January 2009, the Commissioner, Michael D’Ascenzo said arrangements offering early release of super benefits are illegal and attract significant legal and financial penalties for both organisers and individuals.

For a copy of TA 2009/1, go here.

For a copy of the ATO media release, No 2009/02, 8 January 2009, go here.

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