In the first five days of the early release of super scheme being opened to the second round of applications from 1 July, 346,000 repeat applications were received, with the average amount accessed at $8,904.
A further 165,000 applications for early release for the first time were made during the week ended 5 July, taking the total value of payments made during the week close to $1 billion, with $19.1 billion paid since the start of the scheme on 20 April.
The latest figures from the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA) show that 2.7 million applications have now been made, with the average amount accessed at $7,511 since inception.
The second tranche of early release of super of up to $10,000 will close on 24 September.
APRA’s new figures show that there is still an appetite for people to dip into their retirement savings, despite the ATO warning that it will take a closer look at applications to ensure the integrity of the scheme is upheld.
It has since acquired the data of 3 million Australians from Services Australia to verify individuals’ eligibility criteria for the early release of super, JobKeeper payments and the cash-flow boost.
The Tax Office is concerned that individuals may be engaging in illegitimate schemes in order to access funds, including artificially arranging affairs to meet the eligibility criteria, or applying despite seeing no change to their regular salary and wage or employment information.
The ATO will also take a dim view of those who apply for the early release of super in order to obtain a tax benefit — such as withdrawing and recontributing super to claim a tax deduction — and may look to apply Part IVA where necessary.
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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.