Millions of Australians withdrew their superannuation early, and now the Australian Tax Office (ATO) is zeroing in on those who took the money without being eligible.
The ATO will send 500 letters to Australians who accessed their superannuation under the government’s hardship scheme and ask for proof that those savers were eligible for the payment.
Under the scheme, Australians who required financial help to weather the Covid-19 crisis were eligible to withdraw up to $10,000 in the 2020 and 2021 financial years provided they were also unemployed, were eligible for JobSeeker, Youth Allowance or Parenting benefit.
They were also eligible if they had been made redundant this year, their working hours were reduced by at least 20 percent or as a sole trader, their turnover fell by at least 20 percent.
“People who applied for this basically self-assessed, so they basically just ticked the box which applied to them,” H&R Block tax communications director Mark Chapman said, noting that there was no assessment from the ATO at the time.
“Now the ATO is going back and looking at some of those applications to see whether some people might have either deliberately or inadvertently taken the money out of superannuation when they didn’t meet those eligibility criteria.”
The ATO will randomly pick 500 taxpayers who have withdrawn their super and are now asking them for evidence.
Depending on how many people are found to be ineligible in this pilot test, the ATO may begin checking more Australians’ claims.
What will the ATO ask for?
The ATO will basically be asking for proof, Chapman said. That can be in the form of payslips, letters, rosters or emails from an employer, bank statements, business cash flow records, separation certificates, or a public notice that a business has closed. Similarly, documents confirming eligibility for income support payments will also be recognized.
For more information, please visit: https://au.finance.yahoo.com/news/500-australian-taxation-office-210028537.html
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