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 292-245External Link 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)External Link 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.
End of attention
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.
Section 292-305External Link 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 292-310External Link, an amended assessment can be issued to the person in a similar way as the original assessment.
Later amendments - on request
Under section 292-315External Link 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 292-320External Link 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.
Section 292-325External Link 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 292-330External Link 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.