The ATO has since paid out over $120 million in lost and unclaimed super over the last six months to individuals, after recent legislation passed, seeing inactive low-balance super accounts transferred to the Tax Office.
The Tax Office currently pays out unclaimed money in ATO-held super directly to clients if they meet the eligibility criteria and the agency has their correct financial institution details (FID) on their Super role.
In order to facilitate more payments in the coming months, tax agents can help the ATO by asking their clients if they would like to update their FID for the Super role.
Tax agents should ensure the FID for the account to receive the ATO-held unclaimed super money is in their client’s name. Agents can update or correct their clients’ FID for the Super role using Online Services for Agents or the tax agent or BAS agent portal.
“You will still receive income tax refunds on behalf of your clients if you have added your tax agent FID to your clients’ income tax (IT) role,” the ATO said.
Clients can also update their details using the ATO online services for individuals via their myGov account linked to the ATO.
What is an inactive low-balance account?
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 has 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
- there was an amount owed to the super provider in respect of you
Jotham Lian is the editor of Accountants Daily, the leading source of breaking news, analysis and insight for Australian accounting professionals.
Before joining the team in 2017, Jotham wrote for a range of national mastheads including the Sydney Morning Herald, and Channel NewsAsia.