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  • Notice of intent to claim a deduction

    To help your members claim or vary a tax deduction for personal super contributions, you should:

    • accept notices      
      • ensure the notice is both valid and in the approved form
      • ensure, if it is a variation notice, that it does not increase the amount to be claimed
    • acknowledge notices.

    Accepting notices


    You must not accept an invalid notice and should advise your member their notice is invalid. A notice will be invalid if any of the following conditions apply:

    • it is not related to the contribution
    • it includes all or a part of an amount covered by a previous notice
    • when the member gave you the notice they were not a member of the fund, or holder of the retirement savings account (RSA)
    • when the member gave you the notice      
      • you no longer held the contribution
      • you had begun to pay a superannuation income stream based on whole or part on the contribution
    • before the member gave you the notice      
      • they had made a contributions-splitting application in relation to the contribution, and
      • you had received the application and not rejected it.

    A notice can only cover personal contributions. The following are not personal contributions:

    • rolled over super benefits
    • benefits transferred from a foreign super fund
    • a directed termination payment paid by an employer (under transitional arrangements that applied until 30 June 2012)
    • salary-sacrificed amounts.

    Notices in the approved form

    Ensure your members have used an approved form to provide the notice.

    An approved form is one of the following:

    1. our Notice of intent to claim or vary a deduction for personal super contributions (NAT 71121-06.2012) paper form
    2. the 'branded' paper form you provide, which specifies all the information contained in NAT 71121, our approved paper form. If you provide a fund 'branded' form to your members, you should also provide them with the instructions for completing the form available on the ATO website.
    3. a letter from the member, stating that they wish to claim a tax deduction for a specific amount of their personal super contributions and containing at least the following information    
      • first name
      • family name
      • date of birth
      • fund name
      • fund member account number
      • the financial year in which the contributions were made
      • the amount covered by their notice
      • the amount they intend claiming as a tax deduction
      • a declaration that they are lodging the notice by the due date, that is, by the earlier of the following      
        • the day they lodged their income tax return for the year in which they made the contributions
        • the end of the income year following the one in which they made the contributions
      • a statement that the information contained in their letter is true and correct
      • their signature
      • the date (day, month and year).
    4. a virtual form given to you electronically by the member, provided that the virtual form was developed in accordance with the Guide for super funds to develop a virtual (electronic) form version of the Notice of intent to claim or vary a deduction for personal super contributions.

    Next step:

    If you choose to provide your own paper form or your member notifies you in writing, make sure the notification contains all the necessary information from the NAT 71121 paper form, including the member declaration, to make it a notice in the approved form.

    If a paper notice does not contain all the required information, or a virtual form was not developed in accordance with the Guide, the member will not be providing a notice in the approved form as required by section 290-170 of the Income Tax Assessment Act 1997 (ITAA 1997) and they may later be denied an income tax deduction.


    A variation may only reduce the amount to be claimed (including reducing it to nil).

    Only accept variations that reduce the amount of the deduction to be claimed.

    A variation is not effective if:

    • the person is no longer a member of the fund
    • the fund no longer holds the contribution
    • the fund has begun paying an income stream based in whole or part on the contribution.

    If the member wishes to vary their notice of intent to claim a deduction, they may use any of the above methods for providing a notice. If they are writing a letter to you, they need to include the same information as in their original notice, plus a statement that they wish to vary their previous notice to reduce the amount claimed. They must also specify the amount they now intend to claim (which may be nil).

    The member should also have signed a declaration that they are giving this variation within the relevant timeframe (see Important Information below).

    If a member wants to increase the amount they are going to claim as a tax deduction, they must lodge a separate notice of intent to claim a deduction for the additional amount. This will be a new notice rather than a variation.

    Important information

    A member must give you their notice (or variation) by whichever of the following dates occurs first:  

    • the day they lodge their income tax return for the income year in which the contribution was made
    • the end of the income year following the income year in which the contribution was made.

    Note: that the above deadline does not apply if the ATO has disallowed a member's deduction and a variation is being made to reduce the amount claimed by the amount not allowable.

    As you may not be aware of the specific date (from the above) that each member must give you their notice by, the member is required to sign a declaration to say that they have given you the notice (or variation) within the relevant timeframe.

    A valid notice of intent cannot be revoked or withdrawn but the member may vary the notice so as to reduce (even to nil) the amount they want to claim, so long as they do it within the timeframe set out above.

    If we disallow a deduction your member has claimed, the member may vary the notice to reduce their claim by that amount. This variation is not subject to the above timeframes.

    Always advise your members of the reasons for rejecting their notices and of any actions they can take to lodge valid ones. This may reduce the frequency of escalated complaints.

    Acknowledging notices

    You are required to acknowledge your member's valid notice, without delay, unless the value of the relevant super interest, on the day you receive the notice, is less than the tax that would be payable by you in respect of the contribution if you were to acknowledge the notice.

    You should also advise your member if their notice is invalid.

    To avoid disadvantaging your members, your acknowledgment should include:

    • a clear statement that you have received their notice of intent to claim a deduction
    • the date      
      • your fund received the original notice
      • your fund received any subsequent variations
      • of the acknowledgment
    • the member's account and fund details
    • the total amount of personal contributions that the original notice covers and, of those, the amount the member currently intends to claim as a deduction
    • the date the contributions were made or the income year they were made in.

    This information will ensure that your members are able to claim the deductions they are entitled to, and that the correct super co-contributions and excess contributions tax outcomes apply to them.

    Additional requests for acknowledgment

    Where your members have lost, or failed to receive, your acknowledgment they may request a new acknowledgment.

    In such circumstances, you can either:

    • provide them with a copy/duplicate of the original acknowledgment
    • confirm their original notice is valid and provide them with a new acknowledgment.

    We are concerned that members are incorrectly claiming deductions when:

    • they have not provided a valid notice of intent to their fund
    • their fund has not acknowledged their valid notice of intent
    • the amount of the deduction is in excess of their valid and acknowledged notice of intent.
      Last modified: 14 Oct 2016QC 24422