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  • Superannuation Transfer balance account report

    Super changes came into effect on 1 July 2017. A Transfer balance account report (TBAR) has been developed to capture the new information super providers need to give to us.

    The TBAR is used to capture information about super amounts moving into and out of retirement phase accounts. This enables us to record and track an individual’s balance for both transfer balance cap and total super balance purposes.

    All super providers, including self-managed super funds (SMSFs) and life insurance companies, with members in retirement phase will be required to complete and lodge this report to us.

    Transfer balance cap events reported in the TBAR

    Super providers, including SMSFs and life insurance companies, lodge a TBAR to report events relating to an individual's transfer balance account. To ensure accurate data matching for the member, it is important to include their income stream account number when reporting an event.

    Events to be reported in the TBAR include:

    • super income streams in existence just before 1 July 2017
    • any of the following events that occur on or after 1 July 2017
      • superannuation income streams that have commenced in retirement phase
      • limited recourse borrowing arrangement payments
      • member commutations
      • compliance with a commutation authority issued by the Commissioner
      • personal injury (structured settlement) contributions
      • super income streams that stop being in retirement phase.

    See also:

    Commutation authorities

    We may issue a commutation authority to super providers where a member has exceeded their transfer balance cap. A commutation authority will detail the amount that must be commuted for that member.

    Providers must action the commutation authority and report to us using the TBAR within 60 days if:

    • they have complied with the commutation authority by commuting the full amount stated in the notice
    • they have complied with the commutation authority by commuting the income stream as much as possible - even if this is less than the amount in the commutation authority
    • they have not complied with the commutation authority because
      • the maximum release amount is nil
      • the member is deceased
      • we issued a commutation authority in relation to a non-commutable capped defined benefit income stream.

    Some exclusions from TBAR reporting

    Only certain events that affect a member's transfer balance account or total super balance need to be reported in the TBAR.

    Events that do not need to be reported include:

    • pension payments
    • investment earnings and losses
    • when an income stream is closed because the interest has been exhausted.

    A Transfer balance event notification (TBEN) form will be used by individuals to report some information to us directly. Typically a TBEN will be lodged when the following events occur:

    • family law payment split
    • debit event from fraud, dishonesty, or bankruptcy
    • structured settlement contributions made before 1 July 2007.

    The TBEN will only be available as a paper form. This form will be available for download in October 2017.

    If information submitted in the original TBEN needs to be amended or the information supplied is incorrect, another TBEN with the 'amendment indicator' ticked and an explanation of the change should be lodged with the correct information.

    Transfer balance cap reporting

    APRA-regulated fund and life insurance company reporting

    APRA-regulated super funds need to capture data for the TBAR from 1 July 2017. Reporting can commence any time from 1 October 2017 but the first TBAR must be lodged by 14 December 2017 for each member. Once you have commenced reporting, you need to lodge a TBAR within 10 business days after the end of the month in which a transfer balance account event occurred. For example, if you need to report an income stream that started on 2 January 2018, you must lodge this report to us by 14 February 2018.

    Self-managed super fund (SMSF) reporting

    A transitional approach is being used to assist SMSFs to move to an events-based reporting framework. As a transitional concession, SMSFs will generally not need to commence reporting using the TBAR until 1 July 2018. We are currently consulting with industry on the model of event based reporting to apply from 1 July 2018.

    TBAR lodgment is available from 1 October 2017 and submitted forms will be accepted from that time onwards if the choice is made to lodge earlier.

    Although SMSFs will not generally need to commence TBAR reporting until 1 July 2018, SMSFs will need to ensure they have appropriately documented income stream valuations and decisions for the 2017-18 year. Until reporting begins, SMSF members must monitor the value of retirement income streams they receive to ensure they will not be in excess of the transfer balance cap from 1 July 2017 onwards.

    The general exception to starting to report on 1 July 2018 does not apply:

    • if we have issued an Excess Transfer Balance (ETB) Determination to a member because they have exceeded their cap and they choose to commute an income stream in their SMSF. Where this applies, the SMSF must report the commutation within 10 business days after the end of the month in which it occurred to avoid a commutation authority being issued. If the member chooses to commute an income stream the SMSF has not yet reported to us, the SMSF will also need to report the commencement date and value of the relevant income stream at the same time as a separate event
    • when a commutation authority is issued to an SMSF. The SMSF must abide by legislated reporting requirements. Refer to commutation authorities for more information.

    Whilst it is not compulsory for SMSFs to report most transfer balance cap events through the TBAR before 1 July 2018, more frequent reporting from other providers (for example, Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA) super funds) may impact the member. In some cases it is in your best interests to report specific events before 1 July 2018.

    To avoid the incorrect issue of an ETB Determination to a member, you are encouraged to report the following events as soon as possible if they occur before 1 July 2018:

    • any debit where an SMSF member is commuting an income stream because they have become aware they have exceeded their transfer balance cap
    • any debit that occurs prior to a member rolling over some or all of their retirement phase income stream out of their SMSF and starting a new retirement phase pension or annuity with another provider
    • any structured settlement contributions made to the fund on or after 1 July 2017.

    Consequences of late reporting

    Once your reporting has commenced, lodge the TBAR with us as soon as practicable after the event has occurred to ensure your member’s transfer balance account is updated.

    If you do not lodge the report by the required date your member’s transfer balance account will be adversely affected and they may be penalised. You may also be subject to compliance action and penalties.

    Total super balance reporting

    The TBAR will collect information relevant for calculating Total super balance. Funds can report member's:

    • accumulation phase values
    • retirement phase values

    Super funds may be required to report these values for their members if the account balance reported on the Member's Contribution Statement (MCS) or SMSF Annual Return (SAR) does not meet the definition of accumulation phase value.

    These amounts should be reported at the same time as your normal annual contributions report.

    Concessional contributions reporting

    Super funds will use the TBAR to report the uncapped Notional Tax Contribution (NTC) for the 2017-18 financial year only. NTC is reported in the TBAR where:

    • the NTC amount on the MCS has been capped at the concessional contributions cap (currently $25,000) as the individual is eligible for grandfathering, and
    • the Defined benefit contribution (DBC) amount does not equal the uncapped NTC amount.

    Notional contributions will be reported via the TBAR for fully or partially funded constitutionally protected funds (CPFs) in the 2017-18 year. The Notional taxed contributions will be used to determine an individual concessional contribution amount.

    Reporting channels

    There will be three channels for you to report information to us:

    • submitting a data file via the Business Portal or Tax Agent Portal (available from 1 October 2017)
    • posting or faxing a paper report (available from 1 October 2017)
    • electronic lodgment via ATO Online services (available from 1 January 2018).

    Only one event per member can be reported in a TBAR if you lodge a paper form or via ATO Online services. If you have multiple events, members or accounts to report you must complete a new report for each event, member and/or account.

    If you are lodging a data file using the Business Portal or Tax Agent Portal, multiple Member data records can be lodged in each file (data set).

    A super provider must have a current ABN to use an electronic reporting channel. Our electronic reporting channels will automatically route the report to the correct processing area and are the most efficient method of TBAR lodgment.

    More information about the different lodgment channels is provided below.

    File lodgment

    Super providers and intermediaries will be able to submit a data file via the Business Portal or Tax Agent Portal to lodge a TBAR. If you are planning to lodge using this method you should refer to the Electronic reporting specifications. These specifications provide instruction for providers and intermediaries who wish to develop software for electronic TBAR lodgment.

    Further assistance or advice can be obtained from our Software Industry Partnership Office (SIPO)External Link.

    Online lodgement

    Online lodgment via ATO Online services will be available from 1 January 2018. Super providers and intermediaries will be able to manually complete an online TBAR form. Information on how to lodge the TBAR online will be available closer to the date of availability.

    Paper Report

    Go to to locate the paper report and instructions.

    System Specifications

    Refer to the system specifications, for information on developing software for the purposes of lodging a TBAR.

    Next step:

    Amending an incorrect report

    Where information submitted on the original report needs to be amended or the information supplied is incorrect, the original report will need to be cancelled before a new TBAR is lodged with the correct information.

    All the information previously supplied will need to be resubmitted on a new TBAR with a cancellation indicator selected. This is required so we can identify the report that contained the error.

    If required, once the report to cancel the incorrect information has been submitted a new TBAR with the correct information can be lodged.

    Detailed instructions for amending an incorrect TBAR will be available in the instructions specific to the lodgment channel that is used by the provider.


    Last modified: 22 Sep 2017QC 53364