ATO ID 2015/23: new cashing super death benefits ruling

ATO ID 2015/23, journal entries, cashing superannuation death benefit lump sumThe ATO has issued a new ruling stating that journal entries to not satisfy the requirement to cash a superannuation death benefit, after withdrawing two recently issued rulings on the same topic: ATO ID 2015/23 Superannuation: Member’s benefits in a regulated superannuation fund must be ‘cashed’ upon death by being paid – mere journal entries insufficient.

Journal entry not enough for death benefit: ATO ID 2015/2, 2015/3

Journal entry superannuation death benefit: ATO ID 2015/2, ATO ID 2015/3

Update: The ATO has withdrawn ATO ID 2015/2 and ATO ID 2015/3, replacing them with ATO ID 2015/23.

According to the ATO a journal entry in the financial records of an SMSF is not enough to pay a superannuation death benefit, for income tax or superannuation purposes.

This is contained in two related Interpretative Decisions, ATO ID 2015/2 and ATO ID 2015/3:

  • ATO ID 2015/2 Superannuation: superannuation benefits: Journal entry insufficient to constitute payment of a death benefit
  • ATO ID 2015/3 Superannuation: death benefits: a member’s benefits must be ‘cashed’ upon death
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