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ATO updates SuperStream enabling and release authority instructions

ATO
Tony Zhang
19 October 2021 — 2 minute read

The ATO has made an update on the need for SMSFs to be SuperStream-enabled, with additional instructions on how to manage release authorities during the new process.

Being SuperStream-enabled means SMSFs can receive contributions and process inward and outward rollovers electronically.

The ATO said SuperStream had been extended to allow certain release authorities to be sent to super funds electronically via the SuperStream Rollover message, providing easier and quicker processing of release authorities.

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“You will require an Electronic Service Address (ESA) that provides SuperStream rollover services to transact within the SuperStream environment,” the ATO said.

“You can get an ESA from an SMSF messaging provider or through your SMSF intermediary, such as SMSF administrator, tax agent, accountant, and certain banks.

“Not all ESAs provide SuperStream rollover services; therefore, we suggest that you confirm with the service provider prior to engaging their services. Once you have obtained or updated your ESA, you need to notify us of these changes.

“If your SMSF does not have an ESA from a messaging provider that is providing SuperStream rollover services, members of your fund will not be able to roll money into or out of your SMSF, and your fund will not be able to receive and action release authorities electronically.”

Managing release authorities in SuperStream

If the SMSF has an ESA that provides SuperStream rollover service, the ATO said funds would be able to receive release authorities electronically, such as excess concessional contributions (ECC), excess non-concessional contributions (ENCC), and excess non-concessional contributions tax. 

This also includes division 293 due and payable, division 293 deferred debt, and first home super saver.

“It is a legislative requirement that you action the release authority within 10 business days from the date of the release authority,” the ATO noted.

“You are required to send the ATO a release authority statement message via SuperStream that must include the amount that was released to the ATO and for partial releases, whether any super benefits remain in the account.”

When paying the release authority, payment must be made to the current ATO SuperStream account using the payment reference number (PRN) that matches with the PRN on the release authority statement, according to the ATO.

The current ATO SuperStream account details are below but can also be found on the Fund Validation Service:

  • Bank – Reserve Bank of Australia
  • BSB – 092-009
  • Account – 12178-1
  • Account name – Australian Taxation Office Official Administered Receipts SuperStream Account.

“The data and money must be linked by a unique PRN. Without the PRN, we can’t match the payment to your reported release authority statement,” the ATO explained.

“The PRN in the data message and payment must be identical (case and space sensitive). If they are not identical, we cannot allocate the payment.

“Where a payment is made to an incorrect bank account and/or using an incorrect PRN, we will not be able to allocate the payment automatically (and potentially may not be able to allocate it at all). This will result in processing delays for the payment of your member’s release authority.”

If the member is unable to release the money from the SMSF, the fund must send the ATO a release authority error response message with one of the following errors:

  • member not found with supplied information, where the super fund does not have any record of the member identified in the release authority;
  • no longer a member of superannuation fund, where the super fund can identify the member, however they no longer have an open account;
  • rollover could not be processed due to rules within superannuation fund, where the member has an open account, however the super fund is unable to release due to it being a defined benefit interest or non-commutable income stream;
  • the account for the provided member identifier has been closed, where the member has an open account, but the super fund is unable to release for any other reason (such as the account is recently opened with no balance, or subject to a court order).

Tony Zhang

Tony Zhang is a Journalist at 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 2020, Tony has covered various publications across the legal, financial and professional services sectors including Lawyers Weekly, Adviser Innovation, ifa and Accountants Daily.

ATO updates SuperStream enabling and release authority instructions
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