ATO finalises ruling on First Home Super Saver scheme 

The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) has issued law companion ruling LCR 2018/5 which provides guidance on the operation of the First Home Super Saver (FHSS) Scheme, designed to allow individuals who make voluntary contributions into super on or after 1 July 2017, to withdraw those contributions (up to certain limits) and an amount of associated earnings for the purpose of purchasing their first home. 

ATO’s super fund reporting protocol guidance 

The ATO has issued the following protocols for superannuation providers and suppliers who will be reporting: 

  • Contributions
  •  Successor fund transfer reporting 

ATO speech on super reforms 

The ATO’s Deputy Commissioner James O’Halloran in a keynote address to the Superannuation Industry Engagement Forum, discussed the roadmap for change in the superannuation environment which includes superstream and broader reform phases.

Notably, the areas expanding the ATO remit include: 

  • administrative responsibility for the compassionate release of superannuation 
  • continued commitment to the Small Business Superannuation Clearing House
  • the improved enforcement capacity of the ATO to monitor Superannuation Guarantee (SG) payments, and 
  • the imminent introduction of Single Touch Payroll and its key connection to SG reporting and reporting by funds of SG payments. 

Full Federal Court finds sole purpose test not breached 

The Full Federal Court in Aussiegolfa Pty Ltd (Trustee) v Commissioner of Taxation [2018] FCAFC 122 has allowed the taxpayer’s appeal, in part against the decision of the Federal Court which had held that a self-managed superannuation fund that invested in a property leased to a related party was in breach of the sole purpose and in-house assets tests of the Superannuation Industry (Supervision) Act 1993 (Cth). The Full Federal Court concluded that the primary judge was correct in finding the units held by the trustee of the fund constituted an investment in a “related trust” of the fund and the primary judge was correct to conclude that the units did not constitute an investment in a widely held unit trust. The full Federal Court confirmed the breach of the in-house asset rules. However, the Court concluded that the primary judge erred in finding that the leasing of a property at market rent to a related party would cause the self-managed fund to breach the sole purpose test. 

Senate inquiry into economic security for women in retirement 

The Government has released its response to the Senate inquiry into the economic security for women in retirement. The Government noted various recommendations made in the report but did not agree with the committee’s recommendation to revise the current schedule for the increase in the Superannuation Guarantee (SG) rate to 12 per cent, and to ensure the gradual increase in the SG rate is implemented earlier than the current timetable. The SG rate is legislated to gradually increase to 12 per cent by July 2025.