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  • Notice of assessment

    As previously stated, funds must report member contributions details each financial year. We use this information as well as information from the person's tax return and information from first home saver accounts to determine if the concessional or non-concessional contributions caps have been exceeded.

    Section 292-230 requires us to make an assessment of the amount of ECT that a person is liable to pay for a financial year. An ECT assessment covers both concessional and non-concessional contributions that exceed their respective caps.

    Once we make the assessment, the person must be given a notice in writing as soon as practicable. The notice may be included in a notice of any other assessment made under the ITAA 1997 (including a notice of assessment for ECT).

    If an individual disagrees with the calculation of total contributions for their ECT assessment, making an application for discretion to have the contributions disregarded or reallocated is not necessarily the correct first option.

    The rectification of any reporting errors should be discussed with the super funds and if the fund does not need to change, or will not change, their reporting, an amendment request or objection can be lodged.

    An amendment request should be made on the grounds that the assessment is factually incorrect, for example an amount was incorrectly reported in the person's tax return or the amounts reported by a super fund are incorrect.

    If a person receives an assessment and they believe the law has been incorrectly applied, they should lodge an objection to the assessment.

    An application for discretion to have contributions disregarded or reallocated should be lodged when the applicant believes there are special circumstances as to why the concessional or non-concessional contributions caps have been exceeded.

    An individual seeking to fix ECT problems by amending a super fund's annual return and re-reporting member contributions to allocate amounts to another member, needs to ensure there is a factual basis for re-reporting.

    They must be careful not to make a false or misleading statement while attempting to resolve an ECT problem.

    We have the power to apply an administrative penalty for false or misleading statements made from 4 June 2010 for an SMSF annual return and member contributions statements.

    See also:

    Part-year assessments

    Under section 292-235, we may issue a part-year assessment and treat the period as if it is a financial year, if justified.

    In these cases, we must also make an assessment for the actual financial year as soon as possible after the end of that year unless the assessment would not differ in a material way from the part-year assessment. A part-year assessment does not provide more than one cap for the relevant income year.

    Validity of assessment

    Under section 292-240, the validity of assessments is not affected through non-compliance with provisions in the ITAA 1997.

    Conclusive evidence of ECT assessment

    Section 292-250 states that the conclusive evidence rules found in section 177 of the ITAA 1936 also apply to ECT assessments.

    The production of a notice of assessment shall be conclusive evidence of the due making of the assessment and, except in proceedings under Part IVC of the TAA on a review or appeal relating to the assessment, that the amount and all the particulars of the assessment are correct.

    Commissioner's power to obtain information

    Under section 292-470, the Commissioner has the same powers to obtain information as provided by section 264 of the ITAA 1936.

    That is, section 292-470 allows the Commissioner to request in writing any person to:

    • furnish information as is required
    • to give evidence
    • to produce books and other records.

    Super fund reporting obligations

    The reporting obligations for super funds, to enable us to make ECT assessments are contained in Division 390 of Schedule 1 of the TAA.

    Objections and amendments

    Before an ECT assessment issues, we will write to the person so that they have the opportunity to provide any additional, relevant information.

    Once the assessment has issued, a person has two main avenues to seek corrections to any perceived errors. They may lodge an objection or request an amendment.

    The person must keep records relating to their ECT assessment for five years from when they lodged the relevant tax return.


    Section 292-245 states that if a person is dissatisfied with an ECT assessment they may lodge an objection against the assessment in a manner set out in Part IVC of the TAA.

    An objection disputes the way the ATO has applied the law and may also dispute facts.

    The objection must be made within four years after the notice of assessment is given to the person, in accordance with paragraph 14ZW(1)(aab) of the TAA.

    If the time to lodge the objection has passed the person may apply for an extension of time.


    An amendment request usually focuses on a factual error such as an incorrectly reported amount on a tax return.

    An amendment request for an ECT assessment must be made within four years from the date of the notice of assessment. The person should identify the error and, if possible, provide evidence to support the claims.

    In making an ECT assessment we take into account contributions information supplied by super funds. If an individual disagrees with the information supplied by their super fund they should attempt to resolve the issue with the fund.

    If they are not satisfied with the decision, or the fund has taken longer than 90 days to resolve their complaint, they can lodge a complaint with the Superannuation Complaints Tribunal (SCT).

    The SCT cannot hear complaints about SMSFs.

    For more information about the SCT, visit their websiteExternal Link or phone them on 1300 884 114.

    Refer to section 5 and subsection 15CA(1) of the Superannuation (Resolution of Complaints) Act 1993.

    We also use information in tax returns, namely the amount of any personal super deduction allowed.

    If the personal super contributions deduction allowed in the tax return is not correct the person should apply to amend it or object to the amount allowed.

    We may decide to verify the new information with the relevant super fund before amending the assessment.

    Amended assessments

    Section 292-305 states we can issue an amended ECT assessment that increases or decreases the ECT liability at any time, up to four years after an original ECT assessment has been given to a person for an income year.

    Under section 292-310, an amended assessment can be issued to the person in a similar way as the original assessment.

    Later amendments - on request

    Under section 292-315 assessments can be amended after the end of the four year period if, within that four year period, a person has:

    • applied for an amendment using the approved form
    • given the Commissioner all the information necessary for making the amendment.
    Later amendments - fraud or evasion

     Section 292-320 provides that the Commissioner may amend an assessment at any time if:

    • a person or a super fund has not given a full and true disclosure of the information necessary for an ECT assessment
    • we make an under-assessment
    • We are of the opinion that the under-assessment is due to fraud or evasion.
    Further amendment

    Section 292-325 states that if an ECT assessment has been amended, and we are of the opinion it would be just to further amend the assessment, we may do so within a period of four years after the earlier amendment.

    Amendment on review

    Section 292-330 allows for an assessment (or amended assessment) to be amended at any time:

    • to give effect to a review or appeal decision
    • as a result of an objection or pending an appeal or review.
      Last modified: 06 Sep 2017QC 34181