ATO releases superannuation fund income tax gaps 

The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) has released the superannuation income tax gaps – ie the difference between the total income tax collected and the amount the ATO estimates would have been collected if every taxpayer was fully compliant – for the following: 

  • Large super income tax gap for 2015-16 – The ATO estimates the net gap for this sector to be AUD 127 million or 1.5 per cent of the theoretical tax liability. The ATO considers large super funds to have a relatively lower tax risk than other taxpayers. 
  • Small super funds income tax gap for 2014–15 – The ATO estimates this net gap to be AUD 39.9 million, or 3.2 per cent of the total theoretical liability. According to the ATO, overall compliance by small super funds is very good, with most errors identified through the random enquiry program not having a tax consequence. 

ATO speeches on SMSFs and superannuation 

ATO Deputy Commissioner James O’Halloran gave an opening address to the Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand National SMSF Conference. Various self-managed superannuation fund (SMSF) matters were discussed including the  ATO’s focus on total super balance and transfer balance caps, market-linked pensions, reserves and multiple SMSFs.  In addition, ATO Deputy Commissioner James O’Halloran and Assistant Commissioner Graham Whyte  delivered presentations to the ASFA (Association of Super Funds of Australia) Policy Roadshow on super regulation including single touch payroll and the super guarantee gap. 

Labor policy on women’s super security 

The Australian Labor Party has announced that it will invest AUD 400 million to strengthen Australia’s superannuation system and boost women’s superannuation balances. As part of this policy it will ensure that recipients of Commonwealth Paid Parental Leave and Dad and Partner Pay payments continue to receive super contributions. Labor has also announced that it will phase out the AUD 450 minimum monthly income threshold for eligibility for the superannuation guarantee and make it easier for employers to make extra payments into a woman’s superannuation fund.