Early release amounts for SMSFs climb to $341m
Recent ATO figures show that 35,000 applications for the early release of super have been processed for nearly 19,000 SMSFs.
Based on recent ATO data, as of 12 August 2020, there have been 3.97 million approved applications for early release of super, totaling over $33.27 billion since 19 April 2020.
The early release of super scheme was introduced to allow eligible individuals that have been financially impacted by COVID to access up to $10,000 from their super both in the 2019–20 and 2020–21 financial years.
Within the population that have accessed the scheme, ATO director Kellie Grant said that around 35,000 approved applications have been processed for nearly 19,000 SMSFs for the early release of nearly $341 million.
Within the first tranche, the ATO said that around 22,000 approved applications were made by just over 17,000 SMSFs for the release of nearly $215 million in total.
Ms Grant said the ATO has a range of integrity checks in place for the applications it receives, which help the ATO to mitigate the risk of inappropriate behaviour by those that apply.
“We have commenced reviewing some of the applicants which we were concerned had not met eligibility criteria based on our data matching from Single Touch Payroll reporting and income tax returns and information reported by super funds and third-party data from agencies including Services Australia and Home Affairs,” she said.
Based on Single Touch Payroll, for example, the ATO, she said, is able to tell whether an individual is still employed and how much they are being paid.
“We’ve found that 90 per cent that applied for early release of super had been eligible. We’re in the process of taking a closer look at around 2,000 people who we think are at higher risk of being ineligible,” she said.
“Where we find that individuals have made a deliberate false or misleading statement on their application for early release, we’ll look to revoke the determination allowing the release and assess them on that amount accessed. They also might be up for penalties of around $12,000 or more for each false or misleading statement.”
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.