Special Circumstances Found To Set Aside Excess Contributions Tax

Published on December 20, 2012 at 12:00 AM

A taxpayer has successfully argued before the AAT that there were special circumstances in his situation to allow for the exercise of the Commissioner’s discretion under the law to reallocate superannuation contributions. Accordingly, monies paid into his superannuation account in late July 2009 could be attributed to the 2008–2009 financial year, and this meant that the taxpayer would not exceed the (then) $50,000 contributions cap.

The taxpayer had a salary sacrifice arrangement with his employer, whereby funds were paid on his behalf to his super fund. The taxpayer had the intention of contributing super each month and staying below the relevant cap.

However, the AAT heard that the disputed payments occurred because salary sacrifice amounts for the months of April, May and June 2009 were not transferred by the taxpayer’s employer to the fund until July 2009.

The taxpayer claimed that he had been unaware of the delay because he believed the sums were transferred to the fund, based on his monthly payslips. The AAT found that, in this case, there were “special circumstances” that allowed the reallocation of the monies to the previous year.

TIP: This case highlights the need for individuals to check their payslips for their super contributions (especially year-to-date amounts) and know when their super contributions are being paid into their super fund by their employer.

Individuals should also consider reviewing their salary sacrifice arrangements to check whether there is an agreement as to when salary sacrifice amounts will be transferred by the employer to the individual’s super fund. Please contact our office if you have any questions.

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