Heffron | How can I check my client’s Total Superannuation Balance?  And what about the amounts which have been counted towards my client’s Transfer Balance Cap?

How can I check my client’s Total Superannuation Balance?  And what about the amounts which have been counted towards my client’s Transfer Balance Cap?

The methods available for obtaining Total Superannuation Balance and Transfer Balance Cap information depend upon whether or not you are the individual’s tax agent. 

Tax Agent for Individual

The tax agent for the individual can access Total Superannuation Balance information via the Tax Agent Portal by:

  • sending a Mail message using:
    • the mail topic “Superannuation”, and
    • the subject “NCC balance”,
  • in the mail message, you can request both the Total Superannuation Balance and non-concessional contribution bring forward information (if desired) for either:
    • all linked clients, or
    • specific clients.

You will need to include the relevant tax file numbers (TFNs).   A spreadsheet of TFNs should be included if the request is for more than 10 clients.

Transfer Balance Cap information is not currently available on the Tax Agent Portal.  Tax agents can only access this information by ringing 13 10 20.

 

Tax Agent for Fund/Adviser for Individual

Unfortunately Total Superannuation Balance and Transfer Balance Cap information is not currently available to persons who are not the individual’s tax agent.

If you are not the individual’s tax agent, you could try asking the client to view the information via their myGov account (see below) or ask the client’s tax agent to request the information from the ATO (as above) and then forward the information to you.

 

Clients

Clients can view and download a print-out of their Total Superannuation Balance and Transfer Balance Cap information via their myGov account (where they have one). 

In relation to the Transfer Balance Cap information, we recommend asking clients to provide you with the debit and credit information as well as the balance amount.

In relation to the Total Superannuation Balance information, clients are able to view their total as well as the various superannuation balances making up the total.

 

My client is well within his/her Transfer Balance Cap and their Total Superannuation Balance is below the relevant thresholds, so why would I need to check?

We’ve seen many instances of tax agents and advisers (and even clients) discovering superannuation balances they didn’t know the client had.  In other cases, amounts have been inadvertently reported twice for Transfer Balance Cap purposes and commutations not reported at all.

Where these errors result in the client exceeding their Transfer Balance Cap, the first you may know of the problem will be when an excess transfer balance determination is received.  If the problem is simply due to reporting errors, it can easily be fixed but your client (and you) may get a fright which could have been prevented.  For some clients, these sorts of reporting errors may not even come to light until many years down the track (eg when they inherit a superannuation pension from their spouse).

With the Total Superannuation Balance now being used as an eligibility threshold for so many tax concessions (eg non-concessional contributions cap, utilising unused concessional contributions, method for claiming exempt current pension income), we expect to see many more instances of excess contributions, mistakes in tax calculations etc going forward. 

It’s one of those areas where a little bit of time spent now reviewing client records may save a lot of heartache later on.

Remember of course, the data provided (whether via the ATO or a myGov account) will be based on the information reported to the ATO by your client’s various superannuation funds and it may not always be up to date.