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  • Surcharge and tax file numbers

    It is important your super fund has your correct tax file number (TFN). We use your TFN to match the details on your tax return with the surchargeable contributions reported annually by your super fund.

    If you have not given your TFN to your fund, we take all reasonable steps to match your tax return with the details of your surchargeable contributions. If we can't match your TFN, we will advise you in writing.

    We will ask you for your TFN. If you don't provide it, we won't know your adjusted taxable income, and may assess surcharge at the maximum rate on your surchargeable contributions – this depends on when you joined your fund or opened your account.

    On this page:

    Before 7 May 1997

    We assess surcharge at the maximum rate if all the following apply:

    • You, your employer or another person on your behalf, began to pay contributions to a particular super fund before 7 May 1997.
    • Your correct TFN was not provided to us.
    • Your surchargeable contributions are higher than the relevant threshold for the financial year.
    Table 4: Surchargeable contributions threshold for each financial year

    Financial year

    Surchargeable contributions threshold


    Surcharge abolished


















    Example 1: Surchargeable contributions

    Patrick's employer makes contributions of $4,750 in the 2004–05 financial year to his super fund. Patrick has been a member of the fund since 1994.

    Patrick has not quoted his TFN, and we were unable to match his TFN to determine his adjusted taxable income.

    Patrick's surchargeable contributions of $4,750 exceed the surchargeable contributions threshold for the 2004–05 financial year. The maximum surcharge rate is 12.5%, so an assessment for $593.75 is issued to his super fund.

    End of example

    On or after 7 May 1997

    The maximum rate will be applied to your surchargeable contributions if:

    • you, your employer or another person on your behalf, began to pay contributions to a super fund on or after 7 May 1997
    • we are unable to match your TFN with the reported surchargeable contributions and work out your adjusted taxable income.

    This is regardless of the amount of surchargeable contributions.

    Example 2: Surchargeable contributions

    Julie started work on 3 May 2005 and began receiving employer contributions to her super fund from that date.

    Her employer contributions for the 2004–05 financial year are $260.

    We are unable to match Julie's TFN with the fund's reported contributions, so the maximum surcharge rate of 12.5% applies to the $260 of surchargeable contributions.

    Julie's fund receives a surcharge assessment for $32.50.

    End of example
      Last modified: 30 Aug 2017QC 18956