COVID-19 – early access to your super
While superannuation has been designed for members to save for their retirement, COVID-19 pandemic has had a major impact on our lives. As a member of an SMSF, if you have been significantly financially affected by COVID- 19, you may be eligible to access some of your superannuation early.
You can apply to access your super if you are a citizen or permanent resident of Australia and New Zealand and satisfy at least one of the following circumstances:
● you are unemployed
● you are eligible to receive one of the following:
○ a job seeker or youth allowance for jobseekers (unless you are undertaking full-time study or a new apprentice)
○ parenting payment (which includes the single and partnered payments)
○ special benefit
○ farm household allowance
● on or after 1 January 2020 either
○ you were made redundant
○ your working hours were reduced by 20% or more
○ you were a sole trader and your business was suspended or there was a reduction in turnover of 20% or more.
It is important to note that the purpose of the withdrawal must be to assist with financial stress as a result of coronavirus.
As an eligible member, you can apply for up to $10,000 by 30 June 2020 for the 2019-20 year, and for another $10,000 between 1 July 2020 to 24 September 2020 for the 2020-21 year. As a member, it is important to note that you can only submit one application for an early release of super in each financial year. For example: If you have submitted an early release application for $7,000, you will not be able to submit another application to request the additional $3,000 this financial year.
You will not need to pay tax on amounts released and will not need to include these amounts in your tax return.
Applications can now be made directly to the ATO via myGov account. Before submitting the application, you will need to check your total super balance and self-assess to ensure that you meet the eligibility criteria. After the application has been submitted, the ATO will then review the application (approximately 4 days) and provide a determination. The ATO will then send an approval or a rejection letter to your myGov inbox. If you have received an approval letter, you will then need to provide a copy of this letter to your super fund trustee so they can arrange the payment. A copy of the letter should also be provided to your SMSF accountant.