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On 4 December 2008, the Senate passed the Temporary Residents' Superannuation Legislation Amendment Bill 2008 with requests for Government amendments and passed the Superannuation (Departing Australia Superannuation Payments Tax) Amendment Bill 2008 without amendment. The former Bill returned to the House of Representatives, when the House agreed with the Senate's requests.

The Bills amend the Superannuation (Unclaimed Money and Lost Members) Act 1999, Taxation Administration Act 1953 and ITAA 1997 to require that the superannuation of a temporary resident becomes unclaimed and payable to the ATO once the individual has ceased to be a temporary visa holder, has departed Australia and has not claimed their superannuation within six months; and to provide that departed temporary visa holders may recover their superannuation benefits, subject to withholding tax, from the ATO.

The requests for amendments by the Senate relate to two matters.

The first is that Schedule 1 to the Bill required superannuation providers to pay to the Commissioner of Taxation the unclaimed superannuation they hold for certain departed temporary residents by the due and payable date. Certain of the amendments made changes to Schedule 1 to the Bill to allow regulations to be made to defer the due and payable date for a superannuation provider for such amounts in certain prescribed circumstances.

The second is that the Bill did not provide for any interest to be paid to any previously departed temporary resident that later claims an unclaimed superannuation amount from the ATO. The other amendments made changes to Schedule 1 to the Bill to enable interest to be paid to certain previously departed temporary residents who are Australian citizens or permanent visa holders.

The Bills now await Royal Assent.

In a media release issued on 5 December 2008, the Minister for Superannuation and Corporate Law, Senator Nick Sherry, welcomed the successful passage through Parliament of the Bills.

For a copy of the Senate's requested amendments, go here.

For a copy of Supplementary Explanatory Memoranda, go here and here.

For a copy of the Minister's media release, No 2008/085, 5 December 2008, go here.

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