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Australians who wrongly dipped into their superannuation during coronavirus face $12,000 penalty

Did you dip into your superannuation when you weren’t supposed to? You might be in trouble! Australians who broke rules could face a $12,000 fine as ATO launches crackdown

  • Eligible Australians can access their superannuation during the COVID-19 crisis  
  • Australian Tax Office will investigate cases where people have exploited system
  • Those who provided false information could face penalties of more than $12,000
  • Here’s how to help people impacted by Covid-19

Australians who wrongly dipped into their superannuation during the coronavirus pandemic could face penalties of more than $12,000.

The Australian Tax Office revealed they would take action against people who have deliberately exploited the system during the unprecedented health crisis.

‘Compliance remains one of our priorities to ensure the integrity of the tax and super system,’ the ATO said.

‘We have seen some COVID-19 early release of super examples where people are doing the wrong thing.

The Australian Tax Office revealed they would take action against people who have deliberately exploited the system during the unprecedented health crisis. ‘Compliance remains one of our priorities to ensure the integrity of the tax and super system,’ the ATO said (stock image)

‘In some cases, we have stopped applications and prevented super money from being released.’ 

Citizens and permanent residents financially impacted by coronavirus were able to access $10,000 of their super until June 30 and an additional $10,000 from July 1. 

They must meet strict criteria to access the cash. This could include being unemployed, being made redundant or having working hours reduced by 20 per cent.  

The ATO said they have a variety of data sources to check for claims that were made incorrectly. 

This includes: Single Touch Payroll (STP), income tax returns, information reported by super funds and third party data from agencies including Services Australia Home Affairs.  

The STP gives the ATO ‘real time information’ to see if people are employed and how much they are earning.  

Citizens and permanent residents financially impacted by coronavirus were able to access $10,000 of their super until June 30 and an additional $10,000 from July 1. Pictured: People walk past a Westpac bank sign in Melbourne

Citizens and permanent residents financially impacted by coronavirus were able to access $10,000 of their super until June 30 and an additional $10,000 from July 1. Pictured: People walk past a Westpac bank sign in Melbourne

‘Our compliance approach is based on ensuring that people have not exploited the measure,’ the ATO said.

‘Where we have concerns that claims were not genuine we will review them.’

The ATO are concerned by applications where there is no change to a salary/wage and where applicants have arranged their affairs to meet the eligibility criteria.  

Making false statements or fraudulent attempts to meet the eligibility criteria and recontributing super for a tax advantage would also attract attention of the ATO.

The ATO warns applicants must carefully check the criteria to access COVID-19 early release of super.

Those who provide false or misleading information could face penalties of more than $12,000 for each false and misleading statement. 

WHO CAN ACCESS COVID-19 EARLY RELEASE OF SUPER 

Citizens and permanent residents

Citizens and permanent residents are able to apply to access up to: $10,000 of their super until June 30 and a further $10,000 from July 2020 1 until 24 September 2020.

Applicants must satisfy one or more criteria:  

  • You are eligible to receive a job seeker payment, youth allowance for jobseekers, parenting payment (which includes the single and partnered payments), special benefit or farm household allowance.
  • On or after 1 January 2020, either: you were made redundant, your working hours were reduced by 20% or more, your business was suspended or there was a reduction in your turnover of 20% or more. 

Temporary residents

Temporary residents are able to apply to access up to $10,000 of their super until June 30.

Applicants must satisfy one or more criteria: 

  • You hold a student visa that you have held for 12 months or more and you are unable to meet immediate living expenses.
  • You are a temporary skilled work visa holder and still employed but unable to meet immediate living expenses.

You are a temporary resident visa holder (excluding student or skilled worker visas) and you cannot meet immediate living expenses.

SOURCE: AUSTRALIAN TAX OFFICE

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk


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