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  • Fund reporting protocol

    Using the superannuation fund protocol

    We have issued a protocol to give guidance to superannuation providers and their administrators to help them meet their legislated obligations for member reporting and other associated reporting obligations.

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    Terms we use

    When we use the term:

    • provider in this protocol, we mean the particular super fund, approved deposit fund (ADF) or retirement savings account (RSA) provider
    • member in this protocol, we mean a member of a super fund, a depositor in an ADF or the holder of a RSA
    • employer in this protocol, we mean the person or organisation responsible for the members salary or wages relating to super contributions that were made.

    What the protocol does

    This protocol:

    • provides administrative guidance only and does not replace the law or technical reporting specifications
    • includes an explanation of key terms contained in the law
    • gives guidelines on practical administration and our perspective of industry best practice
    • aims to encourage consistent practices and application of the super reporting obligations across the super industry (other than self-managed super funds)
    • helps you so that when you act on the guidance provided and take into account your member's individual circumstances, you can decide whether your action is appropriate.

    In scope

    This protocol is designed to be used by superannuation providers and their administrators to support obligations for:

    • reporting through the member account attribute service (MAAS)
    • reporting through the member account transaction service (MATS)
    • unclaimed super money (USM) reporting
    • transfer balance account reporting (TBAR).

    The guidance provided within this protocol does not have the force of law and is not binding. It is not a change-controlled protocol and does not undergo the same rigour and control as published specification material available through business implementation guides and the Data and payment standards rollover message implementation guide.

    Out of scope

    Providers' tax and superannuation obligations

    Tax and superannuation laws impose obligations to regulate and administer providers in particular ways. You do not have discretion to act in a way that is contrary to a legislative requirement or reporting obligation, even if this would be in the interests of your members.

    Do not allow directions given or requests made by members, employers and other parties prevent you from complying with the law. You should make sure that your members and their employers are aware of your fund’s policy in this regard before any issues arise.

    As part of good corporate governance, the accounting and control systems you have in place should be designed to:

    • ensure you are complying with your legal obligation to report member information in the approved form under Division 390 of the TAA
    • meet your obligations under the relevant superannuation laws
    • meet your income tax obligations.

    The collection and treatment of good data at its source is essential for correct and timely reporting.

    Deferrals

    Exceptional and unforeseen circumstances may impact your ability to lodge or pay by a due date and requesting a deferral may help. Generally, a deferral should be granted on or before the lodgment due date.

    The exceptional or unforeseen circumstances must be consistent with those outlined in PS LA 2011/15 Lodgment obligations, due dates and deferrals.

    Voluntary disclosures

    If you find that you have not met your obligation to report or amend material ommissions or errors, you can make a voluntary disclosure to bring that to our attention. We will work with you to assist minimising potential impacts to members where it is possible and appropiate to do so. All voluntary disclosures will be considered on a case by case basis in the context of your previous compliance history and level of engagement with us.

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    Penalties for incorrect reporting

    If you identify a reporting or payment error, or you have difficulty meeting your obligations, contact us as soon as possible for help.

    The TAA prescribes a penalty regime for non-compliance, and this applies to superannuation approved-form reporting.

    An administrative penalty may apply if you:

    • fail to lodge required information on time, in the approved form
    • provide a statement that is false or misleading
    • don't provide information for all your members or former members who held an interest in the fund at any time during the year
    • fail to keep adequate and correct records.

    For example, an electronic file that reports information for many members but omits reporting the information for a single member is a failure to lodge for that member and may attract a penalty.

    Penalties will not apply for providing a false or misleading statement when you can demonstrate you took reasonable care.

    See also:

    Last modified: 28 May 2019QC 55164