In an update posted to the ATO website on Wednesday, the office said it would shortly be contacting funds that were not meeting the 10 business day release requirement and would be assessing their performance again in three months’ time.
“We’ve been reviewing fund performance regarding timely actioning of FHSSS release authorities and have found a large number of funds aren’t meeting their obligations to action FHSSS release authorities within the required time frame,” the ATO said.
“Our review factored in time to allow for the paper-based authorities and release authority statement forms to move through the post.”
The ATO added that funds were not given any discretion with release time frames for FHSSS deposit amounts due to the quick turnaround times required for property purchases.
“Funds must action all FHSSS release authorities issued by the ATO within 10 business days of the date of issue,” the ATO said.
“Unlike other release authorities, the commissioner has not extended the time to action a FHSSS release authority. It’s essential that FHSSS release authorities are processed on time, not only because it’s a legal requirement, but so your members can access their FHSSS amounts and receive their savings quickly to help them purchase their first home.”
The ATO added that members could request a release authority from a fund other than the fund to which they made contributions; therefore, funds should be aware that they may receive a valid release authority despite not having received any voluntary contributions from the member.