SuperStream for contributions delayed ‘up to’ 1 July 2015

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SMSF & Superannuation NewsThe government announced  yesterday (the 26th of May)  that superannuation funds would have up-to 1 July 2015 to comply with the new SuperStream standards for sending and receiving electronic contributions data.

In a media release the Acting Assistant Treasurer Mathias Cormann said the change “increased flexibility for the superannuation industry as it continues to make the necessary changes to implement the SuperStream contributions data standards” and that “superannuation funds will have up to 1 July 2015 to meet the new standards”.

However the media release appears to be an over-simplification of the changes to the SuperStream standards. While the change may provide “increased flexibility” it will also likely result in confusion for SMSF trustees, with just over one month until the previous implementation date.

The changes referred to in the media release appear to be the Superannuation Data and Payment Standards (Contribution Transitional Arrangements) Amendment 2014, which was registered on the 27th of May. As per the Explanatory Memorandum (EM) to the legislative instrument:

“For the period starting on 1 July 2014 and ending on 2 November 2014, trustees of superannuation entities may choose, but are not required, to have the capability to receive contributions standard compliant messages from employers. On and after 3 November 2014, trustees of superannuation entities must be able to receive contributions standard compliant messages [ paragraph 4.3(a) ] unless the entity has an alternative date.”

The EM goes on to say that APRA funds may have the transition period extended to no later than 1 July 2015 by submitting a ‘implementation plan’ to the Commissioner of Taxation no later than 30 September 2014. The EM says that this option does not apply to SMSFs, and instead refers SMSFs to the ATO compliance statement – which  still refers to a 1 July 2014 start date and was last updated on the 12th of May 2014.

The Assistant Treasurer said that “the Australian Taxation Office will provide more information to industry through their regular consultative forums”, hopefully the ATO will be active in informing trustees of the changes in their obligations.

You may also find this article by selfmanagedsuperSuperStream requirement delayed informative – it quotes DBA Lawyers Dan Butler in reference to when SMSFs should be ready for SuperStream and when it is necessary, in light of the recent changes.

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