21 Nov 2019 Latest superannuation updates
Key date alert – action your commutation authorities
SMSF trustees need to action commutation authorities by the due date, even where the due date falls in the Christmas/New Year holiday period.
If the information sent is incomplete or incorrect, you'll need to send through correct reporting. The ATO’s processing cut-off for this is 10 December. This will ensure that the ATO processes any corrections and revoke the commutation authority before Christmas.
Find out more here.
ATO Online services simulator: New tool to help you and your clients
The ATO online services simulator is now available, making it easier for your members to discover the self-help superannuation features and functions on ATO’s online services.
The simulator is an interactive online tool that replicates ATO online services for individuals. It is mobile optimised and can be accessed on most devices, platforms, operating systems and browsers.
Audit tool software update - important information for MacOS users
The Electronic Superannuation Audit Tool (eSat) software will not operate on certain Apple Mac operating systems. Find out your options here.
Indexation of the general transfer balance cap
The general transfer balance cap will be indexed from $1.6 to $1.7 million.
Currently, the general transfer balance cap is $1.6 million and all individuals have a personal transfer balance cap of $1.6 million.
When the general transfer balance cap is indexed to $1.7 million, there will be no single cap that applies to all individuals. Every individual will have their own personal transfer balance cap, somewhere between $1.6 and $1.7 million, depending on their circumstances.
More information can be found here.
Access your super early
There are very limited circumstances when you can access your superannuation early. These circumstances are mainly related to specific medical conditions or severe financial hardship. Find out about:
- Access on compassionate grounds
- Access due to severe financial hardship
- Access due to a terminal medical condition
- Access due to temporary or permanent incapacity
- Access to super less than $200
- First home super saver scheme.
Compassionate release of superannuation – report by registered medical practitioner
Instructions for the Compassionate release of superannuation – Report by registered medical practitioner form (NAT 74927) are available here. The form is to be completed by an applicant and their registered medical practitioner or specialist.
There are other specific circumstances for requesting early release of super on compassionate grounds. These are:
- Medical – treatment or transport
- Accommodating a disability
- Palliative care for a terminal illness
- The recent passing of a dependant
- Preventing foreclosure or forced sale of home.
Find out more here.
Guidance for SMSFs on fractional property investment
The ATO has released a decision impact statement, confirming their approach to the sole purpose test for fractional property investment products, such as the DomaCom Fund that was the subject of the Full Federal Court decision in Aussiegolfa Pty Ltd (Trustee) v Commissioner of Taxation  FCAFC 122.
At issue in the Aussiegolfa decision was the application of the in-house asset provisions and sole purpose test in the Superannuation Industry (Supervision) Act 1993 to a managed investment scheme (MIS) facilitating a 'simulated direct investment' in real property, including whether a distinct trust was created in respect of a particular investment by the trustee of a SMSF in the MIS.
As indicated in the ATO’s decision impact statement, SMSF trustees could potentially contravene the sole purpose test by investing in a sub-fund of the DomaCom Fund if the facts and circumstances indicate that the SMSF was maintained for the collateral purpose of providing accommodation to a related party. This is consistent with the ATO’s long-standing views in SMSF Ruling 2008/2.
Read the decision impact statement here.
The race is on to find $20.8 billion in super
New ATO data shows that there is over $20.8 billion in lost and unclaimed super across Australia.
The ATO has published the amount of lost and unclaimed super by postcode to help people find their superannuation they have lost touch with.
Find out more here.
Top 10 postcodes with the highest amount of lost and unclaimed super
The postcode with the highest amount of lost and unclaimed super as at 30 June 2019 is 2170 (Liverpool and surrounds in NSW). The top 10 postcodes can be found here.
To find out how much lost super is in your postcode and to see other superannuation statistics visit ato.gov.au/lostsuper.
Access ATO Online services to check your super
You can login to myGov to access ATO Online services to check for any lost and unclaimed super. Find out more here.
ATO-held super includes amounts paid to the ATO by employers, super funds, retirement savings accounts or the government on your behalf that needs to go into your super.
If the ATO holds your super, you can consolidate or claim it from the ATO once you’ve met certain conditions.
Find out if you have ATO-held super here.
Super Scheme Smart
There are a number of schemes targeting Australians planning for their retirement. These schemes encourage individuals to send money inappropriately through their SMSF.
The ATO has launched Project Super Scheme Smart to help taxpayers and their advisers recognise the warning signs for these types of schemes. The penalties for being involved in deliberate tax avoidance schemes are substantial.
Read more here.
Report schemes and promoters
You can report a tax avoidance scheme confidentially by:
- completing the tip-off form on the ATO website or in the ATO app – ‘contact us’ section;
- phoning the Black Economy Hotline on 1800 060 062.
Find out more here.
Super processing schedules: December 2019 and January 2020
The ATO’s superannuation remittance and recovery processing schedules for both SuperStream and ECI/paper for December 2019 and January 2020 are available here.