Lost money to go to tax man

MILLIONS of dollars in lost superannuation will be transferred to the taxman, under a move the government says will save members from paying unnecessary fees.

MILLIONS of dollars in lost superannuation will be transferred to the taxman, under a move the government says will save members from paying unnecessary fees.

The government will collect an extra $675 million by lowering the threshold at which lost superannuation accounts are automatically moved to the Tax Office.

At present, super accounts of people who cannot be contacted are transferred to the Tax Office if they hold less than $200 and there have been no contributions for five years. From January, the threshold is $2000 and no contributions for a year or more.

With lost super accounts holding about $17 billion, the change will hand the budget $675 million in savings over four years. The money will be held in trust. Members can reclaim their lost funds from the Tax Office, which will pay interest equivalent to inflation on their unclaimed super. At present, no interest is paid.

Unclaimed bank deposits and life insurance policies will be treated the same way, boosting budget coffers by $92.3 million over the next four years.

At present bank deposits can be transferred to the Australian Securities and Investments Commission only if they are inactive for seven years, but this will be cut to three years.

Unclaimed company money will also be automatically transferred to ASIC, delivering $118.5 million in savings over four years.

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