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ATO to issue excess transfer balance determinations in January

transfer balance determinations
Miranda Brownlee
05 December 2017 — 1 minute read

The ATO has warned SMSFs that from January 2018, it will start sending excess transfer balance determinations to individuals who have exceeded their transfer balance cap and not rectified the excess.

The ATO said these excess transfer balance (ETB) determinations will generally be based on information that APRA fund has reported to the tax office.

However, if an SMSF receives an ETB determination from the ATO, and the SMSF trustee has not already reported information to the ATO for the member, the ATO said they “must do so as soon as possible so that [the tax office] has all the information about the member’s circumstances”.


“If additional time is needed, the member can request an extension of time,” the ATO said.

“The sooner the member removes the amount set out in the ETB determination out of retirement phase, the less excess transfer balance tax they will pay.”

The ATO reminded SMSF trustees that they must commute the amount set out in the ETB determination from the retirement phase.

“Removing it by making a large pension payment will not result in a debit in their transfer balance account, so they will still be in excess of their transfer balance cap,” the ATO cautioned.

The ATO also clarified that unless the member is commuting a death benefit income stream, they do not need to remove the amount set out in the ETB determination from the super system.

“They can keep the excess in an accumulation phase account,” said the ATO.

“The trustee must ensure that the minimum pension payment standards are met at the time they commute the income stream.”

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Miranda Brownlee

Miranda Brownlee


Miranda Brownlee is the deputy editor of SMSF Adviser, which is the leading source of news, strategy and educational content for professionals working in the SMSF sector.

Since joining the team in 2014, Miranda has been responsible for breaking some of the biggest superannuation stories in Australia, and has reported extensively on technical strategy and legislative updates. Miranda has also directed SMSF Adviser's print publication for several years. 

Miranda also has broad business and financial services reporting experience, having written for titles including Investor Daily, ifa and Accountants Daily.

You can email Miranda on: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

ATO to issue excess transfer balance determinations in January
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