Administration, ATO, SuperStream

ATO issues release authority guidance

ATO SuperStream Release authority Guidance

The ATO has provided guidance on several common issues trustees may experience when using SuperStream.

The ATO has identified several common issues trustees may encounter when managing a release authority through SuperStream and provided guidance on how funds can manage these issues to ensure release authorities can be actioned and payments can be processed successfully.

In its guidance, the regulator specifically referred to four areas where trustees may be experiencing difficulties with the reporting service.

In the first instance, the processing of any payments will be hindered where a trustee submits a release authority statement (RAS) with a different unique superannuation identifier or member account number than that of the fund.

Additionally, in the situation a fund member actions an incorrect release authority statement outcome response (RASOR), they will be required to correct and relodge unsuccessful RAS messages before payments can be allocated.

Trustees must also ensure they provide the correct payment reference number (PRN) on release authority payments to avoid processing delays, and if an incorrect PRN is supplied, trustees should contact the ATO with their reference identification number, payment PRN and successful RAS message PRN.

According to the regulator, they will not release monies if a release authority error response (RAER) has been incorrectly lodged instead of a RAS or they are unable to re-trigger a release authority where an incorrect RAER has been lodged.

Fund members were also reminded of their responsibilities when accepting a release authority lodgement that has been approved by the regulator. Trustees should ensure prompt confirmation of lodgements within 10 business days of receiving a release authority through SuperStream, with penalties possible for late responses.

For RAER messages, using the technical receipt serves as confirmation of a successful lodgement, while for RASOR unsuccessful cases, errors must be corrected for acceptance.

Conversely, receipt of a RASOR successful message confirms lodgement, typically received within minutes. If no RASOR is received within 72 hours, contacting the ATO is recommended.

Further, when faced with a release authority for an account with insufficient funds, a fund may opt to release funds from multiple member accounts to meet the specified amount.

However, in doing so, they must aggregate the available amounts into a single payment, ensure consistency between account identifiers on the RAS and the release authority, and refrain from making multiple payments for a single release authority or altering account details when lodging the RAS.

The release of the guidance follows concerns SMSF trustees were still having problems using SuperStream to process rollovers two years after the introduction of the service.

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