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ATO administration of super contributions

How does the ATO track member contributions?

Section: 17.1

How does the ATO track member super contributions?

The way that APRA regulated super funds report super contributions to the ATO is changing. The fundamental change is from annual reporting via Member Contribution Statements (MCS) to an event based system with near real time reporting. The new system will commence from July 2018 however funds have until April 2019 to transition.

Member Contributions Statement (MCS)

Under current rules, APRA regulated super funds are required to give the Commissioner of Taxation an annual Member contribution statement, which is due on 31 October. SMSFs instead report contributions as part of the SMSF annual return.

The member contribution statement includes (but is not limited to):

  • the member's TFN
  • the total contributions for the financial year for the member
  • the amount of employer contributions, and
  • the amount of personal contributions.

The ATO is able to collate the member's total contributions after receiving the member contribution statements from all the member's super funds after the end of a financial year. Since the ATO does not have the details of a member's contributions until several months after the end of the financial year, the ATO is not able to provide advisers with the member's contribution history during a financial year.

To determine which contributions cap a member's contributions are to be counted towards, the ATO must match information from the member contribution statements with information about deductions for personal contributions from the member's tax return. The amount of a personal contribution that has been claimed as a tax deduction in the member's tax return will be added to the amount of any employer contributions reported in member contribution statements for that member and counted to the member's concessional contributions cap. Any remaining personal contributions reported in member contribution statements for that member will be counted towards the member's non-concessional contributions cap.

In certain situations a trustee may allocate a contribution to a member in a different year to which it was made to the fund. In this situation, the ATO have confirmed that the contributions are required to be reported in the year that they are allocated rather than in the year they were made. As a result, a member's member contribution details (as reported by a fund) may not match the details contained in a member's tax return for a year.  As a result, a tax deduction claimed on a member contribution may initially be declined as it will appear to exceed the amount of member contributions made.

Event based reporting

Under the new system, APRA regulated super funds will provide event based reporting to the ATO. Super funds will transition to the new system from 1 July 2018 onwards.

The new event based reporting system will include two reports:

  • Member Account Transaction Service (MATS) to report member contributions or transactions within ten business days, including:
    • member contributions
    • employer contributions
    • non-employer contributions
    • retirement phase events
    • acknowledged notices of intent
    • Member Account Attribute Service (MAAS) to report changes to member accounts such as when an account is opened or closed, whether the account is accumulation or retirement phase and what transactions the account can receive.

The new system will provide members with more up to date information than the current annual reporting regime.

Last modified: Tuesday, November 20, 2018