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  • How to apply

    Our application process is a free and easy service.

    You can apply online, or you can request a paper application form.

    The ATO does not process applications over the phone. Our staff are available to assist with any enquiries you may have with completing your application – phone us on 13 10 20.

    You should know that some third-party intermediaries may charge a fee to assist with preparing and applying on your behalf. Superannuation cannot be approved for release to cover the intermediary's fees. Intermediaries can only charge you a fee if they are a registered tax agent. You should never share your myGov login details with anyone, including your registered tax agent. To check if a provider is a registered tax agent, refer to the Tax Practitioners Board registerExternal Link.

    Online application process

    Before you apply, check if your super fund allows early release of super.

    If you have a self-managed super fund, you still need our approval to access your super early and you must receive this approval prior to releasing any money.

    Collect the required documents for your application and apply using our online form. You can access the form through your myGov accountExternal Link linked to ATO online services.

    From the ATO online services home page, select the heading option Super, then Manage, then Compassionate release of super.

    Go to Online services for more information.

    If you can't apply online

    If you can’t apply online:

    • phone us from within Australia on 13 10 20 (8.00am–6.00pm, Monday–Friday, or 10.00am–2.00pm on Saturdays AEDT) to request a paper application form, or
    • phone us from overseas on +61 2 6216 1111 (8.00am–5.00pm, Monday–Friday AEDT) to request a paper application form.

    If you apply from overseas:

    • Copies of documents you provide to support your application should be certified as true and correct copies of the original document. You must arrange for documents in another language to be translated into English and certified as a true and correct copy by an authorised translation service.
    • Post your completed forms and supporting documents to

      Australian Taxation Office
      Compassionate release of superannuation
      PO Box 3006
      PENRITH  NSW  2740

    What to expect after you apply

    1. We will assess your eligibility in accordance with the limited grounds of release for compassionate release of super. This can take up to 14 days (28 days for paper applications). We can't provide you with a progress update during the assessment phase.
    2. While assessing your application, we may contact you or third-party providers regarding the evidence provided in your application, particularly if there is incomplete or missing information. This includes validating expenses in the unpaid invoices and quotes, and the information provided in reports.
    3. Once we have assessed your application, we will contact you by either phone or SMS text message and you will receive a letter in your myGov Inbox. The letter may take up to 72 hours to arrive (this may take longer if your letter is issued via post). If your application is successful, we will also notify your super fund.

    If your application is approved, you must contact your super fund to arrange the release of your money. You will need to provide your fund with a copy of our approval letter to process your payment. The letter can only be used to release one lump sum payment. You should wait for your approval letter before contacting your super fund.

    You must pay the expenses with the amount released from your super fund and keep your receipts as evidence of those payments as you may need to provide this information to us.

    More than one person applying for the same expense

    You can apply for the same expense as another person if all people applying need to pay part of the same expense. If you and another person are applying for the same expense, each person will need to:

    • complete and submit a separate application
    • meet the eligibility criteria
    • provide the applicable evidence (including documents showing the unpaid expense is in the names of all applicants).

    The sum of the amount requested in the separate applications must not be more than the total amount of the unpaid invoice or quote.

    Next steps  

      Last modified: 05 Dec 2022QC 60034