Superannuation Alert - 8.8.12

Financial Services eBulletin - 12 August 2012

The Lander & Rogers Superannuation Alert is a brief overview of new developments in the superannuation industry and is in addition to our Superannuation Update, which analyses the main developments of interest in more detail.

  • On 30 July 2012 an exposure draft of the expanded superannuation reporting legislation and accompanying explanatory material was released. The draft Superannuation Legislation Amendment (Stronger Super and Other Measures) Bill (No. 2) 2012: expanded superannuation reporting will amend the Tax Administration Act 1953 to "expand the information required to be reported to the Commissioner of Taxation".

In particular, superannuation providers would be required "to provide statements in respect of all members who held an interest in the fund at any time during the reporting period, not just those for whom contributions are received". The amendments will further allow the ATO "to display more comprehensive superannuation information to individuals and facilitate the consolidation of lost and inactive accounts with a balance below $1,000 and the increased concessional contributions cap for members with balances of less than $500,000 from 1 July 2014". Submissions are due by 10 August 2012.

  • On 3 August 2012 the Minister for Financial Services and Superannuation, Bill Shorten, released for public comment the long-awaited exposure draft legislation providing income tax relief for merging superannuation funds. The draft Tax Laws Amendment (2012 Measures No. 5) Bill 2012Merging superannuation funds will amend the Income Tax Assessment Act 1997 to retrospectively instate temporary loss relief and the asset roll-over with certain modifications. According to the accompanying explanatory material, "the loss relief and asset-roll-over removes income tax impediments to mergers between complying superannuation funds by permitting the roll-over of both revenue gains or losses and capital gains or losses". The changes would apply for mergers that occur on or after 1 October 2011 and before 2 July 2017. Submissions are due by 24 August 2012. 

  • In a recent speech, ASIC Commissioner Peter Kell announced that ASIC has commenced a "bad apples" project aimed at implementing measures "to frustrate the ability of ‘bad apples’ to move from one licensee to another within the advice industry". According to Mr Kell, the project will look at reference checking by both financial services and credit licensees. He urged all licensees to review their current approach to reference checking and suggested that often " lack of information itself may convey something about the candidate you are considering". 

  • The US Treasury has released its long-awaited model intergovernmental agreements to implement the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) legislation. The announced model agreement was developed in consultation with France, Germany, Italy, Spain, and the United Kingdom and "marks an important step in establishing a common approach to combating tax evasion based on the automatic exchange of information". There is a reciprocal model agreement for countries with which the US already has a tax treaty or tax information exchange act, and a largely identical nonreciprocal model agreement.

Further information

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