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ATO asks accountants to help reunite clients with unclaimed super

The ATO has asked accountants to help reunite their clients with their unclaimed super.

  • Maja Garaca Djurdjevic
  • July 10, 2019
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With the recent passing of the inactive low-balance super accounts legislation, the ATO is working proactively to reunite clients with their lost and unclaimed super, and is asking accountants to aid the process.

In the last six months, the ATO has paid out over $120 million directly to individuals' bank accounts.

“We will make more payments in coming months, and will notify your clients if we pay them their unclaimed super,” said the Tax Office.

Currently the Tax Office will pay out unclaimed money in ATO-held super directly to clients if they meet eligibility criteria and have their correct financial institution details (FID) on their super role.

The ATO is asking accountants to make sure their clients’ FID is up to date using online services for agents or the Tax Agent or BAS agent portal.

The Treasury Laws Amendment (Protecting Your Superannuation Package) Act 2019 introduced a new category of accounts that need to be reported and paid to the ATO – inactive low-balance accounts.

Under the legislation, inactive low-balance super accounts are transferred to ATO and, where possible the ATO "proactively consolidates" your super on your behalf.

Inactive low-balance accounts

Generally, a super account is an inactive low-balance account if the following criteria are met:

  • no amount has been received by your fund for crediting to that account for your benefit within the last 16 months;
  • the account balance is less than $6,000;
  • you have not met a prescribed condition of release;
  • the account is not a defined benefit account;
  • there is no insurance on the account; 
  • the account is not held in a self-managed super fund (SMSF) or small Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA) fund.

However, the account will not be an inactive low-balance account if any of the following have occurred in relation to you in the last 16 months:

  • you have changed your investment options;
  • you have made changes to your insurance coverage;
  • you have made or amended a binding beneficiary nomination;
  • you have made a written declaration that you are not a member of an inactive low-balance account; or
  • there was an amount owed to the super provider in respect of you.
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