Super contributions - too much super can mean extra tax Introduction

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1 Super contributions - too much super can mean extra tax Introduction There are caps on the amount you can contribute to your superannuation each financial year that are taxed at lower rates. If you contribute more than these caps you may have to pay extra tax. The cap amount and how much extra tax you have to pay depends on whether the contributions are: concessional (before-tax) contributions non-concessional (after-tax) contributions. Summary of types of contributions Contribution type Concessional Non-concessional Description Includes Contributions from before-tax income, or for which a tax deduction has been claimed Compulsory employer contributions Salary sacrifice contributions Contributions for which a tax deduction has been claimed Contributions from after-tax income Personal contributions Spouse contributions Contributions which exceeded your before-tax cap Concessional (before-tax) contributions Concessional contributions may also be referred to as 'before-tax contributions'. Types of concessional (before-tax) contributions include: employer contributions, such as compulsory employer contributions paid by your employer any additional pre-tax super contributions your employer makes salary sacrifice payments made to your super fund other amounts paid by your employer from your pre-tax income to your super fund, such as administration fees and insurance premiums contributions that you are allowed as an income tax deduction, such as contributions you make if you are selfemployed (to claim a tax deduction for your personal super contributions, you must first complete a notice of intent to claim deduction in the approved form and give it to your super fund) notional taxed contributions if you are a member of a defined benefit fund some amounts allocated from a fund reserve. If you decide to split your before-tax contributions and give some to your spouse, these contributions count towards your cap. Your age affects the amount of the concessional (before-tax) contributions cap, how the cap applies and what options you may have - see Your age and super contributions caps. Contributions made into defined benefit funds are not always linked to individual members - refer to Super contributions - for defined benefit funds and untaxed funds. A notional amount of employer contributions is calculated to reflect the increase to your benefits for the year. This is the equivalent of an employer contribution, so this amount will count towards your concessional (beforetax) contributions cap. 1/22

2 Salary sacrifice If you salary sacrifice into super, these amounts will count towards your concessional (before-tax) contributions cap, in addition to your employer's contributions such as any compulsory employer contribution. If you make super contributions under a salary sacrifice agreement, the sacrificed amount is paid into your fund by your employer and is treated as an employer contribution. The sacrificed amount counts towards your employer's compulsory super contribution obligations. If your salary sacrificed super contribution is more than the super guarantee amount that your employer is required to pay (currently 9% of your earnings base), then your employer is not required under super guarantee legislation to pay an additional amount on top of your salary sacrificed amounts. When making planning decisions about your employer contributions, it is also important to consider when these contributions are received by your super fund - see Timing of contributions. For more information, refer to Salary sacrificing super. When planning your contributions, consider when your employer contributions are actually received by your super fund. Non-concessional (after-tax) contributions Non-concessional contributions may also be referred to as 'after-tax contributions'. Types of non-concessional (after-tax) contributions include: non-concessional (after-tax) contributions that your employer makes on your behalf from your after-tax income contributions your spouse (including a same-sex spouse) makes to your super fund, unless your spouse makes the contributions because they're your employer personal contributions that are not claimed as an income tax deduction contributions in excess of your concessional (before-tax) contributions cap contributions in excess of your capital gains tax (CGT) cap amount most transfers from foreign super funds, excluding amounts included in your fund's assessable income. Your age affects the amount of the non-concessional (after-tax) contributions cap, how the cap applies and what options you may have - see Your age and super contributions caps. Exclusions Some personal contributions may be excluded from counting towards your non-concessional (after-tax) contributions cap for a financial year. Some of the exclusions include contributions: made from personal injury payments you have chosen to count towards your CGT cap amount that have not gone over your lifetime limit. These types of non-concessional (after-tax) contributions will only be excluded if you meet all of the conditions. You must also specifically ask your fund to exclude them by providing your fund with a Capital gains tax cap election or Contributions for personal injury form before or when you make a contribution. Your age and super contributions caps How much you can contribute to your super before having to pay extra tax depends on your age at the end of the financial year. You are under 50 years old There are two types of super contributions: concessional (before-tax) contributions non-concessional (after-tax) contributions. Your contributions caps 2/22

3 Concessional Non-concessional $25,000* $150, $25,000* $150,000 Tax on amounts over the cap 31.5% (plus 15% paid on your behalf by your super fund) 46.5% *There is 15% tax payable on concessional (before-tax) contributions paid into a super fund. Your super fund usually reduces your super account by your share of this tax. From 1 July 2012, if you have gone over your concessional (before-tax) contributions cap by $10,000 or less, you may receive a once-only offer to have the excess concessional (before-tax) contributions refunded to you and assessed at your marginal tax rate, rather than pay excess contributions tax. From 1 July 2014, the concessional (before-tax) contributions cap will be indexed in line with average weekly ordinary time earnings (AWOTE), in increments of $5,000. Any contributions over the concessional (before-tax) contributions cap will count towards your non-concessional (after-tax) contributions. If you have more than one super fund, contributions made to each fund will count toward your caps. If you contribute more than your annual non-concessional contributions cap and you are under 65 years old, you can bring-forward two years of contributions - see Bring-forward provision for people under 65 years old. If your contributions are over the non-concessional (after-tax) contributions cap amount, you will be subject to 46.5% excess non-concessional (after-tax) contributions tax. You are between 50 and 64 years old There are two types of super contributions: concessional (before-tax) contributions non-concessional (after-tax) contributions. Your contributions caps Concessional Non-concessional $25,000* $150, $50,000* $150,000 Tax on amounts over the cap 31.5% (plus 15% paid on your behalf by your super fund) 46.5% *There is 15% tax payable on concessional (before-tax) contributions paid into a super fund. Your super fund usually reduces your super account by your share of this tax. If you have gone over your concessional (before-tax) contributions cap by $10,000 or less in or a later financial year, you may receive a once-only offer to have the excess concessional (before-tax) contributions refunded to you and assessed at your marginal tax rate, rather than pay excess contributions tax. From 1 July 2014, the concessional (before-tax) contributions cap will be indexed in line with average weekly ordinary time earnings (AWOTE), in increments of $5,000. Any contributions over the concessional (before-tax) contributions cap will count towards your non-concessional (after-tax) contributions cap. If you have more than one super fund, contributions made to each fund will count toward your caps. 3/22

4 If you contribute more than your non-concessional (after-tax) contributions cap and you are under 65 years old, you can bring-forward two years of contributions - see Bring-forward provision for people under 65 years old. You are between 65 and 69 years old Work test As you are 65 years old or older, you will need to satisfy a work test in each financial year a contribution is made to your super. The work test requires you to be gainfully employed. To satisfy the work test, you must work for at least 40 hours during a consecutive 30-day period each financial year. Unpaid work does not meet the definition of 'gainfully employed'. If you're 65 or older and younger than 70 and you meet the work test, your fund can accept compulsory super contributions made for you by your employer. If you meet the work test, your fund can also accept: other types of employer contributions, such as voluntary contributions your employer may make other amounts paid by your employer to your super fund such as administration fees and insurance premiums contributions made to your super fund by anyone else - these may be personal contributions (made by you) contributions made by someone other than you (such as your spouse). Contributions There are two types of super contributions: concessional (before-tax) contributions non-concessional (after-tax) contributions. Your contributions caps Concessional Non-concessional $25,000* $150, $50,000* $150,000 Tax on amounts over the cap 31.5% (plus 15% paid on your behalf by your super fund) 46.5% *There is 15% tax payable on concessional (before-tax) contributions paid into a super fund. Your super fund usually reduces your super account by your share of this tax. From 1 July 2012, if you have gone over your concessional (before-tax) contributions cap by $10,000 or less, you may receive a once-only offer to have the excess concessional (before-tax) contributions refunded to you and assessed at your marginal tax rate, rather than pay excess contributions tax. From 1 July 2014, the concessional (before-tax) contributions cap will be indexed in line with average weekly ordinary time earnings (AWOTE), in increments of $5,000. Any contributions over the concessional (before-tax) contributions cap will count towards your non-concessional contributions cap. If you have more than one super fund, contributions made to each fund will count toward your cap. Because you are over 65 years old, you cannot access the bring-forward provision. You are 70 years old or older Because you are 70 years old or older, you are generally unable to make super contributions. However, if you are 4/22

5 employed and meet a work test, your fund can accept certain contributions. The work test requires you to be gainfully employed. To satisfy the work test, you must work for at least 40 hours during a consecutive 30-day period each financial year. Unpaid work does not meet the definition of gainfully employed. If you meet the work test and are between 70 and 75 years old, your fund can accept: mandatory super contributions made for you by your employer other types of employer contributions such as voluntary contributions your employer makes other amounts paid by your employer to your super fund such as administration fees and insurance premiums personal contributions made only by you. If you meet the work test and are over 75 years old, your fund can only accept mandatory super contributions made for you by your employer. From 1 July 2013, the government has announced that employees over 70 will be entitled to super guarantee payments from their employer. Contributions There are two types of super contributions: concessional (before-tax) contributions non-concessional (after-tax) contributions. Your contributions caps Concessional Non-concessional $25,000* $150, $50,000* $150,000 Tax on amounts over the cap 31.5% (plus 15% paid on your behalf by your super fund) 46.5% *There is 15% tax payable on concessional (before-tax) contributions paid into a super fund. Your super fund usually reduces your super account by your share of this tax. From 1 July 2012, if you have gone over your concessional (before-tax) contributions cap by $10,000 or less, you may receive a once-only offer to have the excess concessional (before-tax) contributions refunded to you and assessed at your marginal tax rate, rather than pay excess contributions tax. From 1 July 2014, the concessional (before-tax) contributions cap will be indexed in line with average weekly ordinary time earnings (AWOTE), in increments of $5,000. Any contributions over the concessional (before-tax) contributions cap will count towards your non-concessional (after-tax) contributions cap. If you have more than one super fund, contributions made to each fund will count toward your caps. Because you are over 65 years old, you can't access the bring-forward provision. Timing of contributions A contribution counts in the financial year in which your super fund actually receives the money. Your employer is entitled to make super guarantee contributions for the quarter that ends on 30 June by 28 July - that is, in the next financial year. It's up to you to keep track of contributions you, your employer or others make on your behalf to your super account. Keeping track of the amount of contributions and when they were received by your super fund is important. It can help you to avoid going over the contributions caps and paying extra tax. 5/22

6 For example, if your employer regularly pays contributions for you in the month after each quarter, the June quarter contributions will actually be made in July, and therefore count towards your concessional (before-tax) contributions cap in the next financial year. Example Suzette salary sacrifices $100 a fortnight. Her employer puts aside the amount each pay day and then pays the amount, along with their super guarantee obligations, on the last day of the quarter by posting a cheque to the super fund. It generally takes between one and two working days for the super fund to receive the cheque. This means that, although the amounts deducted from Suzette's salary between 1 April and 30 June are paid on 30 June, the contribution is not received by the super fund until the next financial year. Therefore this contribution will count towards Suzette's concessional (before-tax) contributions cap for the following year. Contributions are regarded as being paid at the time they are received by the fund. Avoid exceeding the caps Suggestions for concessional (before-tax) contributions The following suggestions may help you to keep your super contributions below the concessional (before-tax) contributions cap and prevent you from inadvertently exceeding the cap and having to pay excess contributions tax: Be aware of what your concessional (before-tax) contribution cap is. Keep track of the amount of contributions and when they were received by your super fund - contributions count towards a cap in the year in which your super fund actually receives the money. Check when your employer actually pays the contributions to your super fund, as it could be in the next financial year. If you have more than one job or pay money into more than one super fund, include all of them when you work out your annual contributions - remember compulsory employer contributions are included as part of your concessional (before-tax) contributions. If you think you may go over the concessional (before-tax) contributions cap in the current financial year stop or reduce any pre-tax voluntary contributions to your super, such as salary sacrifice - but you can't ask your employer to change compulsory super guarantee amounts or amounts paid under a contract or industrial agreement delay making any personal super contributions that you intend to claim as a deduction in your tax return. Check if your employer pays costs such as super administration fees and insurance premiums on your behalf to your fund - these count towards your concessional (before-tax) contributions cap. If you are eligible to claim an income tax deduction for your personal super contributions, only the amount we allow as a deduction will count towards your concessional (before-tax) contributions cap. Suggestions for non-concessional (after-tax) contributions The following suggestions may help you to keep your super contributions below the non-concessional (after-tax) contributions cap and prevent you from inadvertently exceeding the cap and having to pay excess contributions tax: Be aware of what your after-tax (non-concessional) contributions cap is. Keep track of the amount of contributions and when they were received by your super fund - contributions count towards a cap in the year in which your super fund actually receives the money. If you go over the concessional (before-tax) contributions cap, the excess contributions count towards your nonconcessional (after-tax) contributions cap. Any amount that you withdraw and re-contribute to your super fund is a personal contribution. Contributions are counted against the caps in the year in which they are received and credited by your super fund. You are only eligible to bring-forward the next two years of contributions if you are 64 years old or under on 1 July of the first financial year. If someone else, such as a financial planner, accountant or employer, makes contributions on your behalf, check that they make the contributions in time to be received in your fund account by the end of the financial year. If making contributions by BillPay, internet transfer or similar means at the end of the financial year, check the terms and conditions of your financial institution and allow for any possible delays. Check whether your contributions are held in another account or by another institution before they are received by your fund, as this can cause delays. 6/22

7 If you go over the concessional contributions cap To work out if you have gone over the concessional (before-tax) contributions cap, we look at your date of birth and assess information: reported to us by your super fund you report in your tax return reported to us by your first home savers account provider (if you contribute the amount to your super). For more information about how funds report contributions, refer to Excess contributions tax and how funds report your contributions. If we work out you have excess concessional (before-tax) contributions we will write to you so you can check that the information used in our calculation is correct. If the information is correct, you will be assessed to pay excess contributions tax. If eligible, you may receive an offer to have the excess concessional contributions refunded to you and to pay tax on the excess amount at your marginal tax rate. If the information used for excess concessional contributions tax is wrong Disagreeing with fund information If you disagree with the information your super fund provided to us: try to resolve the issue with them if you are still dissatisfied, complain to the trustee of your super fund if you are still not satisfied or the fund has taken longer than 90 days to resolve your complaint, you can complain to the Superannuation Complaints Tribunal. You can only complain to the Superannuation Complaints Tribunal if your fund is regulated by the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority. Funds can only re-report your contributions if they previously reported them incorrectly. They must report contributions on the basis of the facts, including the date contributions were received and the contributor's intention at the time the contribution was made. A fund can't re-report contributions simply to help you avoid excess contributions. If a fund provides us with amended contributions information, we use it to either: make the excess contributions tax assessment or to amend your existing excess contributions tax assessment adjust the offer to have excess contributions refunded - depending on the amendment you may no longer be eligible for the refund offer. In some circumstances we may seek further information. Disagreeing with income tax assessment information Any personal contributions allowed as a deduction in your tax return will be counted as concessional (before-tax) contributions. If you want to claim a tax deduction for your personal super contributions, you must first complete a notice of intent to claim deduction in the approved form and give it to your super fund. If you didn't claim the correct amount in your tax return or didn't claim it at the correct label, you can request an amendment. We may confirm this information with your fund before amending your income tax assessment. If you think the amount allowed as a personal super deduction was incorrect, you can object. If you amend your tax return, we use this amended information to either: make the excess contributions tax assessment or to amend your existing excess contributions tax assessment adjust the offer to have excess contributions refunded - depending on the amendment you may no longer be eligible for the refund offer. In some circumstances we may seek further information. 7/22

8 For more information about personal deductible contributions, refer to Claiming deductions for personal super contributions. To request an amendment to your income tax assessment, refer to Amendment requests. Offer to have excess concessional contributions refunded From 1 July 2012, you may receive an offer to have the excess concessional (before-tax) contributions refunded and assessed at your marginal tax rate, rather than pay excess contributions tax. This may occur if: you have exceeded your concessional (before-tax) contributions cap for the first time since the financial year the amount above the concessional cap is $10,000 or less you have lodged a tax return for the relevant income year within 12 months of the end of that year (or within a longer period if the Commissioner allows it). This is a once-only offer - when you have made your choice it can not be reversed and, having received an offer, you will not receive a further offer in later years. If you have exceeded your concessional (before-tax) contributions cap by more than $10,000, you will not be eligible for the refund offer and will be subject to excess contributions tax. If you are eligible for the refund offer, we will send you a letter detailing the amount of your excess concessional (beforetax) contributions and your options. You can choose to either accept the refund offer or pay your excess contributions tax liability. Before accepting the offer In deciding whether or not to take up the offer it is important for you to consider the following: the income tax implications of accepting an offer the refund that you may be entitled to on accepting an offer could be used to pay any outstanding ATO or other Commonwealth agency debts (such as Child Support Agency or Centrelink) the flow-on impacts of accepting an offer on a range of government income tests used for offsets, surcharges, benefits and payments. For information on what may be affected refer to: Income tests: an overview What has changed? Super co-contribution. Accepting an offer - taxation consequences If you decide to accept the offer, you need to complete a Choice to include excess concessional (b efore-tax) contrib utions in assessable income form. You will need to ensure the completed form is returned to us within 28 days of the date on the offer. When we receive the form confirming that you accept the refund offer: we will send your super fund a refund release authority for 85% of your total excess concessional (before-tax) contributions (recognising the 15% tax already paid by your super fund) your fund will take the money from your account and send the money to us the total amount of excess concessional (before-tax) contributions will be added to your assessable income in the same year the contributions were made and taxed at your marginal tax rate we will reduce any tax you may have to pay by a refundable tax offset equal to 15% of your excess concessional contributions - this recognises the 15% tax already paid by your super fund the remaining credit will be refunded to you, minus any other ATO or Commonwealth agency debts you may owe the excess concessional (before-tax) contributions refunded will not count towards your non-concessional (after- 8/22

9 tax) contributions cap you will receive a notice of amended assessment and statement of account, together with any refund. This is a once-only offer. Also, increasing your income may have flow-on effects to a range of government income tests for offsets, surcharges, benefits and payments - see Before accepting the offer. If you do not respond to us within 28 days from the issue date on your letter of offer, the offer will lapse and we will presume that you have chosen not to accept the offer - see Choosing not to accept the offer. Example: Amended assessment and statement of account Deb receives a notice of offer letter from the ATO advising her that she had excess concessional (before-tax) contributions of $5,000 for the financial year. As she meets the eligibility requirements, the letter advises her that she can choose to take the excess concessional (before-tax) contributions amount out of her super fund and have them assessed at her marginal rate of tax, rather than incurring a potentially higher rate of excess contributions tax. She reads the letter and the fact sheet which sets out the consequences of accepting each option. She understands that the refund offer is a once-only offer available to her in this financial year, regardless of whether she accepts it or pays the excess contributions tax. Deb decides to accept the refund offer and completes the election form that came with the letter and fact sheet. She returns it to the ATO within the required 28-day period. After processing her form and obtaining a release of her excess contributions from her fund, the ATO sends Deb a notice of amended assessment and statement of account and advice that a payment has been credited to her bank account. The notice of amended assessment shows that: Deb's taxable income has been increased by $5,000 as a result of choosing to have her excess concessional (before-tax) contributions refunded an amount of tax payable of $1,250 is calculated (based on marginal tax rate of 25% of $5,000) a refundable tax offset of $750 credit (which is equal to the 15% tax already paid by the fund on the excess contributions), resulting in an amount payable of $500. To find out the total amount payable, she is referred to the statement of account. The statement of account shows: a credit for the contributions paid by the super fund of $4,250 a debit of $500 owing from her amended income tax assessment advice that a refund $3,750 has been paid into her nominated financial institution ($4,250 minus $500). Choosing not to accept the offer If you choose not to accept the offer, you do not need to do anything. After 28 days from the date on the letter, the offer will lapse and you will receive an excess contributions tax assessment with a letter detailing your options. If your only super account is a defined benefit account or if you are receiving a pension, you may still accept the offer. However as no credit will be received from your fund it may result in a tax debt. Example: Defined benefit account holder Mel receives a notice of offer letter from the ATO advising her that she has exceeded the concessional (before-tax) cap by $5,000 for the financial year. As she meets the eligibility requirements, the letter advises her that she can choose to take the excess concessional (before-tax) contributions amount out of her super fund and have them assessed at her marginal rate of tax, rather than incurring a potentially higher rate of excess contributions tax. She reads the letter and the fact sheet which sets out the consequences of accepting each option. She understands that the refund offer is a once-only offer available to her in this financial year, regardless of whether she accepts it or pays the excess contributions tax. 9/22

10 Mel only has a defined benefit account and is aware that her fund will not be able to release her excess contributions. Mel decides to accept the refund offer anyway. She completes the election form and, within it, selects the option 'I declare that I no longer hold an accumulation interest in any super fund'. She returns it to the ATO within the required 28-day period. Mel's fund is unable to release her excess contributions as Mel only has one defined benefit account. After processing her election form, and being advised that her fund is unable to release her excess contributions, the ATO sends Mel a notice of amended assessment and statement of account and advice that an amount is payable to the ATO. The notice of amended assessment shows that: Mel's taxable income has been increased by $5,000 as a result of choosing to have her excess concessional (before-tax) contributions refunded an amount of tax payable of $1,250 is calculated (based on marginal tax rate of 25% of $5,000) a refundable tax offset of $750 credit (which is equal to the 15% tax already paid by the fund on the excess contributions), resulting in an amount payable of $500. To find out the total amount payable, Mel is referred to the statement of account. The statement of account shows there is a debit of $500 owing from her amended income tax assessment. Calculating the full impact can be complex. We recommend you seek professional independent financial advice. How accepting the refund offer may affect ATO and other government income tests To determine if accepting the refund offer will result in a change that may impact either of the tests we link to below, use the following formula: The amount of the refund offer (found on your letter of offer) $ minus either your reportable: - $ employer super contributions super contributions. The figure you use depends on which income test you want to check.* equals the amount of increase to income used by the test =$ (This figure cannot be less than zero) * For all income tests other than the three tests listed below, your reportable super contributions will be reduced by the amount of the refund offer, but not below zero. For the following three tests, your reportable employer super contributions (instead of reportable super contributions) will be reduced by the amount of the refund offer but not below zero: mature age worker tax offset tax offset for spouse contribution super co-contributions. For more information on which super contributions are counted in these calculations, refer to reportable employer super contributions or reportable super contributions. Accepting the refund offer will result in no change to the: deduction for personal superannuation contribution eligibility test super co-contributions 10% eligibility test. Calculating the full impact can be complex. We recommend you seek professional independent financial advice. 10/22

11 Using our income test calculators If the amount above results in an increase and you want to use an ATO calculator to determine the full impact on your circumstances, you will need to do the following: Step 1: Add the amount of the refund offer to the income figure you use for the test Step 2: Minus the amount of your refund offer from your reportable employer super contributions or reportable super contributions (the figure you use depends on which test you are using). The resulting figure cannot be less than zero. Using these new figures in the calculators will allow you to determine what (if any) impact there is on your individual circumstances. For information on income tests and relevant calculators, refer to: Income tests: an overview Income tests and how they affect you Super co-contribution. Calculating the full impact can be complex. We recommend you seek professional independent financial advice. Examples: The effect of accepting the refund offer on adjusted taxable income (ATI) Example: No reportable employer super contributions or reportable super contributions Julie (aged 49) works two jobs and has a total income for the financial year of $300,000. Julie's total super guarantee contributions from both jobs is $27,000 (9% of $300,000). Julie did not make any additional salary sacrificed contributions (or reportable super contributions). Julie's concessional (before-tax) contributions cap is $25,000. Julie's excess concessional (before-tax) contributions amount is $2,000 ($27,000 - $25,000). Julie's total income for income test purposes is $300,000. Julie chooses to accept her once-only refund offer of $2,000 instead of paying excess contributions tax. The amount of Julie's refund offer $2,000 minus either her reportable: - $0 employer super contributions super contributions. The figure she uses depends on which income test she wants to check. equals the amount of increase to income used by the test =$2,000 (This figure cannot be less than zero) To calculate the effects, Julie does the following calculation: Step 1: add the amount of the refund offer ($2,000) to her taxable income from prior to the refund offer ($300,000) for a taxable income total of $302,000. Step 2: minus the amount of her refund offer ($2,000) from her reportable employer super contributions or reportable super contributions ($0) with a result of -$2,000. As the amount cannot be less than zero she will put $0 into the calculators as her reportable employer super contributions or reportable super contributions 11/22

12 Julie uses these new figures in the calculators allowing her to understand the true impact of accepting the refund offer on her circumstances. Example: Reportable employer super contributions and reportable super contributions Bob is aged 35 and in has a total salary of $165,000. Bob's super guarantee contributions are $14,850 (9% of $165,000). Bob made additional super salary sacrificed contributions, which are classed as both reportable employer super contributions and reportable super contributions, of $15,000. Bob's current concessional (before-tax) contributions cap is $25,000. Bob's excess concessional (before-tax) contributions amount is $4,850 ($14,850 + $15,000 -$25,000). Bob's total income for income test purposes is $180,000 ($165,000 + $15,000). Bob chooses to accept his once-only refund offer of $4,850 instead of paying excess contributions tax The amount of Bob's refund offer $4,850 minus either his reportable: - $15,000 employer super contributions super contributions. The figure he uses depends on which income test he wants to check. equals the amount of increase to income used by the test (This figure cannot be less than zero) =-$10,150 but it cannot be less than zero, therefore =$0 As the amount is $0 there is no flow-on impact for Bob on his offsets, surcharges, benefits and payments as a result of accepting the offer. Receiving an excess contributions tax notice of assessment An excess contributions tax notice of assessment will tell you how much excess contributions tax you have to pay. When we send you an assessment notice, we will also separately send you a voluntary release authority which you can give to your fund to help you pay the amount of tax owing. The excess contributions tax is: 31.5% for excess concessional (before-tax) contributions 46.5% for excess non-concessional (after-tax) contributions. If you don't receive a release authority within 10 days of your assessment, phone us on Paying the excess contributions tax You can pay your excess concessional (before-tax) contributions tax by: paying the tax yourself without drawing on your super paying the tax yourself and using the voluntary release authority to ask your super fund to release the money to you using the voluntary release authority to instruct your fund to pay the money to us on your behalf using a combination of these options. 12/22

13 Voluntary release authority We send you a voluntary release authority you can use to withdraw the amount from your super fund to help pay this tax. This release authority authorises your fund to pay the money out of your super account according to your instructions. If you intend to use your voluntary release authority, you must give it to your fund or funds within 90 days after the date on the release authority. Once a voluntary release authority expires, your fund can't release the money, and you must make other arrangements to pay the debt. Even if you are disputing the amount you have to pay, you still must pay it. If you have lost your voluntary release authority and need a replacement, contact us as early as possible. This will allow us enough time to reissue you with a new one before the release authority expires. You can't use a release authority to release an amount from a defined benefit interest. Example: Objecting Rachael received an assessment to pay excess concessional (before-tax) contributions tax and a voluntary release authority dated 1 August Rachael decided to lodge an objection against the assessment and to wait until the outcome of the objection before paying the tax if unsuccessful. Rachael was advised on 20 November 2011 that her objection was disallowed. As more than 90 days have passed since the date on the release authority, Rachael can't use the release authority to pay her debt. She now has to pay the debt out of her own money. Rachael could have used the release authority to withdraw the money from the fund and pay the debt before the objection was determined. If her objection was successful, she would be refunded the money, less amounts owing for tax debts and debts to other government agencies. Example: Lost voluntary release authority Debra received an excess concessional (before-tax) contributions tax assessment and a voluntary release authority dated 1 September On 25 November, Debra wanted to use the voluntary release authority to pay her debt but had misplaced the authority. Debra contacted the ATO for a replacement. However, while the ATO can issue a replacement, they can't change the original date of issue of 1 September Debra receives the replacement on 3 December 2011, but she can't use it as the 90 days has expired. If you don't receive a release authority within 10 days of your assessment, phone us on If you withdraw more money from your super than the amount of the excess concessional (before-tax) contributions tax stated in the release authority, you may have to pay tax on the extra amount at your marginal rate. You may also be liable for an administrative penalty. What your fund does with a voluntary release authority When your fund receives a voluntary release authority from you within 90 days after the issue date, they must pay you or us the least of the following: the amount of excess concessional (before-tax) contributions tax stated in the release authority the amount you nominate the total value of your super in your fund (excluding any defined benefit interest). If your fund does not receive the authority within 90 days, it can't release the money, even if you are disputing the amount you have to pay. Your fund must: release the correct amount 13/22

14 release the amount within 30 days after receiving the valid release authority send you and us a statement within 30 days after paying the money out of your super. If you believe your fund has not acted correctly on a release authority, contact them. If you are still dissatisfied, phone us on Pay your excess concessional contributions tax on time The excess concessional (before-tax) contributions tax is due and payable 21 days after we give you your notice of the assessment. If you don't pay the excess concessional (before-tax) contributions tax by the due date, general interest charge (GIC) may apply. Generally, if you give your release authority to your fund within the time allowed for payment, and your fund makes the payment within 30 days (or any delay in payment was not within your control), we may remit the GIC. Paying from super If you don't have enough super in one fund If you don't have enough money in one super fund to pay your excess concessional (before-tax) contributions tax liability, you can photocopy the release authority and give it to more than one of your super funds. If you do this, you must sign each copy with an original signature. If you have a defined benefit interest You can't use a release authority to release an amount from a defined benefit interest. However, you can use your release authority to obtain money from another super fund even if you didn't make contributions to that super fund in the year. If all your super is in a defined benefit interest, you can't use the release authority. You must pay the excess concessional (before-tax) contributions tax from your own money. For more information about defined benefit funds, untaxed super funds or constitutionally protected funds, refer to Super contributions - for defined benefit funds and untaxed funds. If you go over the non-concessional contributions cap To work out if you have gone over the non-concessional (after-tax) contributions cap, we look at your date of birth and assess information: reported to us by your super fund you report in your tax return reported to us by your first home savers account provider (if you contribute the amount to your super). For more information about how funds report contributions, refer to Excess contributions tax and how funds report your contributions. Bring-forward provision for people under 65 years old If you are 64 years old or less on 1 July of the financial year and make an excess non-concessional contribution, the system will automatically bring-forward the next two years' non-concessional contributions cap, but certain conditions apply. This means you can contribute up to $450,000 over a three-year period. The bring-forward is automatically triggered when your after-tax contributions are more than $150,000 in a particular year. Once this happens, the normal non-concessional (after-tax) contributions cap doesn't apply to the next two years. Instead, your total contributions over the three years can't go over $450,000. To make sure you don't accidentally trigger the bring-forward, take into account all contributions made to all your super funds. Remember that excess concessional (before-tax) contributions count towards the non-concessional (after-tax) contributions cap and can trigger the bring-forward provision. Life insurance premiums and fund fees can count as contributions too. Consider these when planning your contributions. 14/22

15 Example: Bring-forward provision Non-concessional (after-tax) contributions The cap Balance of the cap In 2010 financial year John (57 yrs) makes a non-concessional (after-tax) contribution into his super fund of $152,000 In 2011 financial year John makes a non-concessional (after-tax) contribution into his super fund of $450,000 The cap for 2010 was $150,000 or $450,000 over three years. As John has gone over the yearly cap amount by $2000, he automatically triggers the bringforward provision. With the bringforward provision triggered, he will not receive an excess contributions tax assessment for the excess $2000 Given John only has a remaining cap balance of $298,000 the ATO considers that by making a contribution of $450,000 he has gone over the cap by $152,000 The balance of the nonconcessional cap available to John for the next two years is $298,000 ($450,000 - $152,000 = $298,000) John's total non-concessional contributions for 2010 and 2011 financial years is $602,000 Cap = $450,000 An excess contributions tax assessment will be raised on the excess amount of $152,000 at a rate of 46.5%, creating a tax liability of $70,680 Excess = $152,000 If you are unsure if you have previously triggered the bring-forward provision, or you are considering making a large contribution, phone us on to discuss. Example: Not eligible for the bring-forward provision Bernard was 65 years old on 1 July of the financial year. He contributed $100,000 in October and $100,000 in April of the financial year, giving him total personal contributions of $200,000. As he is not eligible for the bring-forward, Bernard has gone over his non-concessional (after-tax) contributions cap by $50,000 and will have to pay excess non-concessional (after-tax) contributions tax on this amount. Example: Excess non-concessional contributions Sandra (53 years old) contributes $160,000 to her super during a financial year. This triggers the bring-forward because it's higher than the non-concessional (after-tax) contributions cap amount of $150,000. Sandra can contribute up to $290,000 ($450,000 - $160,000 = $290,000) over the next two years without paying the excess non-concessional (after-tax) contributions tax. Example: A single contribution Glen (60 years old) contributes $450,000 in a single contribution into his super. This triggers the bring-forward. Over the next two years if he contributes any more non-concessional (after-tax) contributions to his super he'll have to pay excess non-concessional (after-tax) contributions tax ($450,000 - $450,000 = $0). Example: Turning 65 Trevor is retired and makes a contribution of $400,000 in the financial year he turns 65. He didn't need to meet the work test to make the contribution as he was under 65 at the time he made the contribution. After he turns 65, Trevor can't make any further contributions to use up the remainder of his bring-forward cap ($450,000 - $400,000 15/22

16 = $50,000), as he will not meet the work test. Example: Effect on the following year Austin (42 years old) makes non-concessional (after-tax) contributions of $150,000 in However, he forgot about $2,000 non-concessional (after-tax) contributions that are automatically direct debited into his fund from his bank account each year. As a result, Austin's total non-concessional (after-tax) contributions for amounted to $152,000. This triggers the bring-forward. In , Austin contributes a further $450,000. Austin's non-concessional cap for is $298,000 ($450,000 - $152,000). He has therefore made excess contribution of $152,000 in ($298,000 - $450,000). He has an excess contributions tax liability of $70,680 ($152,000 x 46.5%). Once you have triggered the bring-forward in a year, any change to the non-concessional (after-tax) contributions cap for the subsequent two years doesn't apply to you. For example, in Glen's case (Example: A single contribution), if the non-concessional (after-tax) contributions cap in the third year changed to $180,000 he could not contribute an extra $30,000 without going over the cap. There are also limits on what contributions your fund can accept for you - see Fund-capped contribution limit. We will send you a pre-assessment letter Generally, before we issue you with an excess contributions tax assessment, we write to you so you can check our information. Your fund provides us with information each financial year about contributions made to your super, such as: employer contributions personal contributions. For more information about how funds report contributions, refer to Excess contributions tax and how funds report your contributions. If the information used for excess non-concessional contributions is wrong Disagreeing with fund information If you disagree with the information your fund provided to us, try to resolve the issue with them. If you are still dissatisfied, you can lodge a complaint with the trustee of your super fund. If you are still not satisfied or the fund has taken longer than 90 days to resolve your complaint, you can complain to the Superannuation Complaints Tribunal if your fund is regulated by the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority. Funds can only re-report your contributions if they previously reported them incorrectly. They must report contributions on the basis of the facts, including the date contributions were received and the contributor's intention at the time the contribution was made. A fund cannot re-report contributions simply to help you avoid excess contributions. The Superannuation Complaints Tribunal cannot consider complaints about self-managed super funds. If a fund provides us with amended contributions information, we use this to make the excess contributions tax assessment or to amend your existing excess contributions tax assessment. However, we may seek further information in some circumstances. Disagreeing with income tax assessment information Any personal contributions allowed as a deduction in your tax return are used to calculate any excess contributions tax liability. If you want to claim a tax deduction for your personal super contributions, you must first complete a notice of intent to claim deduction in the approved form and give it to your super fund. The amount you are allowed as a personal super deduction in your tax return is counted towards your concessional 16/22

17 (before-tax) contributions. The amount you are not allowed to claim as a deduction is counted towards your nonconcessional (after-tax) contributions cap. If you did not claim the correct amount in your tax return or did not claim it at the correct label, you can request an amendment. We may confirm this information with your fund before amending your income tax assessment. If you think the amount allowed or not allowed as a personal super deduction was incorrect, you can object. If you amend your tax return, we use this amended information to make the excess contributions tax assessment or to amend your existing excess contributions tax assessment. However, we may seek further information in some circumstances. For more information about personal deductible contributions, refer to Claiming deductions for personal super contributions. To request an amendment to your income tax assessment, refer to Amendment requests. We send you an excess contributions tax notice of assessment If you've gone over your cap, we will send you an excess contributions tax notice of assessment which will tell you the amount you have to pay. We will also send you a compulsory release authority, which you must use to authorise your fund to release the excess tax amount. If you don't receive a release authority within 10 days of your assessment, phone us on Paying the excess tax You can pay your excess non-concessional (after-tax) contributions tax in a number of ways. However, you must use the compulsory release authority to withdraw the excess tax amount from your fund. You must use the compulsory release authority even if you: You can: disagree with the assessment and want to object to it have paid the amount from your own money. pay the tax yourself and use the compulsory release authority to ask your super fund to release the money to you use the compulsory release authority to instruct your fund to pay the money to us on your behalf pay using a combination of these options. Regardless of how you pay the tax, you still must withdraw the full amount of your excess non-concessional (after-tax) contributions tax from your super, whether you use it to help you pay the tax or not. Compulsory release authority You must give the compulsory release authority to your fund or funds within 21 days after the date on the release authority If you don't, you may receive a penalty of 20 penalty units (currently $2,200). If you don't receive a release authority within 10 days of your assessment, phone us on If you withdraw more money from your super than the amount of the excess non-concessional (after-tax) contributions tax stated in the release authority, you may have to pay tax on the extra amount at your marginal tax rate. You will also be liable for an administrative penalty. What your fund does with a compulsory release authority 17/22

18 When your fund receives a compulsory release authority from you within 21 days of the day after the issue date, they must pay you or us the least of the following: the amount of excess non-concessional (after-tax) contributions tax stated in the release authority the amount you nominate the total value of your super in your fund - when your super balance is less than the excess non-concessional (after-tax) contributions tax -, excluding a defined benefit interest. You must give the compulsory release authority to your fund within 21 days to avoid being penalised. Your fund can still action a compulsory release authority given after 21 days as long as it receives it within 90 days after the compulsory release authority's issue date. Generally a fund can't release money to you unless a condition of release is satisfied. A release authority satisfies a condition of release. Your fund must: release the correct amount release the amount within 30 days after receiving a valid release authority provide you and us with a statement within 30 days after paying the money from your super. If you believe your fund has not acted correctly on a release authority, contact them. If you are still dissatisfied, phone us on If you don't withdraw money from your fund using a compulsory release authority If we assess that you have to pay excess non-concessional (after-tax) contributions tax, you must withdraw the excess tax amount from your super fund. If you release less than the amount of the excess non-concessional (after-tax) contributions tax from your super, we will ask your fund to pay the outstanding amount to us. We will do this even if you've already paid the tax liability, as the excess non-concessional (after-tax) contributions tax amount must be taken out of your fund. We will request payment from your fund using an Authority to release excess contrib utions tax and statement. Your fund will also give you and us a statement within 30 days of paying the amount. We will let you know by letter when your fund sends us any payment. If you've already paid the excess non-concessional (after-tax) contributions tax, we will apply the payment from the fund against other tax debts you may have. We may also apply the payment against debts you may have with other government agencies. If you have already paid the excess contributions tax to us and you don't have a tax debt, you will be refunded the money. The money must be withdrawn from your super. If it isn't, you could be penalised up to $2,200. We can ask for the money to be withdrawn from your fund, even if you've paid the tax. Pay your excess non-concessional contributions tax on time The excess non-concessional (after-tax) contributions tax is due and payable 21 days after you receive your notice of assessment. If you don't pay the excess non-concessional (after-tax) contributions tax by the due date, general interest charge (GIC) may apply. However, you can request we return any GIC you incur. Generally, if you give your release authority to your fund within the time allowed for payment, and your fund makes the payment within 30 days (or any delay in payment was not within your control), we may remit the GIC. Paying from super If you don't have enough super in one fund If you don't have enough money in one super fund to pay your liability, you can photocopy the release authority and give it to more than one of your super funds. If you do this, you must sign each copy with an original signature. 18/22

19 You must ensure that the total amount released is not greater than your excess non-concessional (after-tax) contributions tax liability, otherwise you will be penalised. Any additional amount released will also be counted towards your assessable income (and will be taxable) for the year that you received it. If you have a defined benefit super account You can't use a release authority to release an amount from a defined benefit fund. However, you can use your release authority to obtain money from another super fund, even if you didn't make contributions to that fund during the year. If all your super is in a defined benefit fund, you can't use the release authority. You must pay the excess nonconcessional (after-tax) contributions tax from your own money. For more information about defined benefit funds or untaxed funds, refer to Super contributions - for defined benefit funds and untaxed funds. If you disagree with your excess contributions tax assessment We make assessments based on the information provided by your fund about your contributions, and by you in your tax return. For information about how to correct information in your tax return or reported by your fund, see: If the information used for excess concessional contributions tax is wrong If the information used for excess non-concessional contributions is wrong. After we have made an excess contributions tax assessment, if your fund amends your contribution information or you amend your deduction for personal super contributions on your tax return, we may amend your excess contributions tax assessment. It may take up to six weeks for you to receive an amended notice of assessment. We may also amend your excess contributions tax assessment without a request from you when this information changes. We can initiate an amendment to your excess contributions tax assessment without your request for up to four years from the day we give you the assessment. You can object If you receive an excess contributions tax assessment and you disagree with how we have administered the law, you may object. Even if you object you must still pay the liability. For more information about lodging objections, refer to Objection guide. Applying to have your contributions disregarded or reallocated You can apply to the Commissioner of Taxation to exercise discretion if either: you have yet to receive an excess contributions tax assessment but have made contributions you want disregarded or reallocated to another financial year it is within 60 days of receiving your excess contributions tax assessment. We may accept your application after 60 days if you can show you were unable to apply within the required time - you must include this information with your application. To apply, we recommend you complete the Application - excess contributions tax determination form. You don't have to use this form, but your application must include all the information we request in the form. If it doesn't, we may refuse to consider your application. After completing your application you can either: fax it to /22

20 send it to Australian Taxation Office PO Box 3100 PENRITH NSW 2740 You shouldn't apply for the Commissioner's discretion if you believe we have: relied on incorrect information - you should attempt to get the information corrected applied the law incorrectly - you should object to the assessment, explaining where you think we applied the law incorrectly. If you have gone over your non-concessional (after-tax) contributions cap because of a single contribution, your super fund may have been required to return the excess amount to you. This means you may not have to pay excess contributions tax. If this relates to you, discuss it with your super fund. Were there special circumstances? For the Commissioner to exercise the discretion, special circumstances must exist for all, or part of, your excess contributions to be disregarded or reallocated. These factors in isolation are generally not considered special circumstances: financial hardship from having to pay excess contributions tax unintentionally going over the cap misunderstanding the law incorrect professional advice making a mistake. Special circumstances are defined as unusual, exceptional, abnormal or uncommon circumstances where applying the law would result in an unjust, unfair or otherwise inappropriate outcome. Australia's courts have made it clear that special circumstances are limited to those that make your case different from the ordinary or usual. It isn't possible to give precise rules about what constitutes special circumstances - each case is considered on its facts. In making the determination, some factors that may be considered are whether you had control over the amount or timing of the contribution and whether or not it was reasonably foreseeable that you would go over the limit when the contribution was made. What we may consider when making a decision to disregard or reallocate contributions We consider whether: your contributions would be more appropriately allocated to another financial year it was reasonably foreseeable that you would have excess contributions when a contribution was made any other relevant factors involved. If a contribution would be better allocated to another financial year Contributions usually count in the financial year they are received by your super fund. In most cases, we will only reallocate contributions to another financial year if the contribution should have been made in a different financial year - for example, if your employer was required to make a contribution in a different financial year, we may consider it appropriate to allocate the contribution to that financial year. Even if a contribution would be more appropriately allocated to another financial year, there may be other factors relevant to our decision. A contribution won't be considered to be more appropriately allocated to another financial year just because: you intended for it to be made in a different financial year the contributor's liability to make the contribution accrued in a different financial year - for example, your employer's 20/22

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