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Restitution for mistake

Last updated 14 December 2022

Contributions generally cannot be returned to a member because:

  • they regret making the contribution
  • they or their agents made an error in their decision to contribute.

Contributions may only be refunded in circumstances tightly prescribed by legislation.

Contributions returned in accordance with the law of restitution don’t count towards the member's contributions cap. The fund must amend its reporting to account for returned contributions.

In circumstances where the law of restitution does not apply, a fund must continue to report the contributions that were received, even if they were returned.

While we will scrutinise these decisions, we recognise there are many circumstances where a decision to amend will be entirely correct. A failure to amend would be a failure to report correctly.

See also

  • ATO ID 2010/104 Superannuation – Excess contributions tax: restitution of a 'mistaken' contribution

QC21807