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Fund income tax return instructions 2021

For use by funds to assist with completion of Fund income tax return 2021. NAT 71605.

Last updated 7 November 2023

Changes to the non-arm’s length income provisionsExternal Link are before Parliament. While not yet law, the proposed application date is 1  July 2018. See our position on retrospective law change proposals.

About these instructions

Fund income tax return instructions 2021 will help you complete the Fund income tax return 2021 (NAT 71287).

These instructions cover:

When we refer to ‘you’ in these instructions, we are referring to you either as the trustee of the fund or as the tax agent or trustee responsible for completing the tax return. This publication is not a guide to income tax or superannuation law. Seek help from us or a registered tax adviser if this publication does not fully cover the fund's circumstances.

These instructions cover only Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA) regulated and non-regulated superannuation funds and pooled superannuation trusts (PSTs) that use the Fund income tax return 2021 to meet their tax obligations. The instructions and return form may refer more generally to funds other than where more specific mention of an entity type is warranted. These instructions do not cover reporting obligations for superannuation which, where required, must be reported separately.

Self-managed superannuation funds need to meet their tax and regulatory obligations by lodging the Self-managed superannuation fund annual return 2021 (NAT 71226).


The ATO is authorised to ask for information on the Fund income tax return 2020 by the Taxation Administration Act 1953, the Superannuation Industry (Supervision) Act 1993, the Income Tax Assessment Act 1936 and the Income Tax Assessment Act 1997. We use this information to help us administer the superannuation and taxation laws and for statistical purposes. If you do not provide this information, there may be a delay in processing the fund tax return.

Where authorised by law to do so, we may give the information in the tax return to other government agencies, including assistance agencies such as Services Australia, regulatory bodies such as the Australian Securities and Investments Commission and the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority, law enforcement agencies and the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

We are authorised by the Taxation Administration Act 1953 to request tax file numbers (TFNs). We use TFNs to identify funds in our records. It is not an offence not to provide a TFN. However, if you do not provide a TFN, there may be a delay in processing the tax return.

If the Fund has an Australian business number (ABN), we are authorised by the A New Tax System (Australian Business Number) Act 1999 and other taxation laws to collect certain information relating to your entity. We may use business details supplied on the tax return to update the information held in the Australian Business Register (ABR) in relation to your fund. This may include cancelling the ABN if your fund is no longer entitled to be registered in the ABR.

Where authorised by law, selected information on the ABR may be made publicly available and some may be passed on to other Commonwealth, state, territory and local government agencies. These agencies may use ABR information for purposes authorised by their legislation or for carrying out other functions of their agency. Examples of possible uses include registration, reporting, compliance, validation and updating of databases.

You can find details of agencies that regularly receive information from the ABR at Link or you can phone us on 13 92 26 between 8.00am and 6.00pm Monday to Friday except on public holidays to have a list of the agencies sent to you.

For more information about privacy, the information we collect and how it may be used, see the ABR privacy statementExternal Link.

If you are the person authorised to sign the income tax return, we collect some personal information about you on the fund tax return such as your name and contact details. That information allows us to contact you if we require more information on what you have provided on the fund tax return.

We also provide taxpayer information to treaty partners overseas under international tax agreements with many other countries. There is more information about these treaties at International tax agreements.

Our privacy policy is at Your privacy. The policy contains important information about your privacy, including information about how you can access and seek correction of information we hold about you, how you may complain about a breach of the Australian Privacy Principles and how we will deal with any privacy complaint. You can contact us, if you have any questions at Enquire or complain about a suspected breach of the Australian Privacy Principles or 13 28 61 or GPO Box 9990 in the capital city of your state or territory.

Publications and services

To find out how to get a publication referred to in these instructions and for information about our other services, see Publications, Tax Determinations and Rulings.

Record keeping

Funds must keep records, in English, in writing or electronically. The records must be in a form that we can access and understand. Generally, funds must keep all relevant records for at least five years, but this period may be longer in certain circumstances.

For more details and references, see Record keeping requirements.