ATO information-sharing: super assets in family law proceedings
Tuesday 19 February 2019
Superannuation is often the most significant asset in a separated couple’s property pool, particularly for low-income households with few assets. Parties to family law proceedings are already legally required to disclose all of their assets to the court, including superannuation, but in practice parties may forget, or deliberately withhold, information about their super assets.
The Government has announced an electronic information-sharing mechanism to be established between the ATO and the Family Law Courts to allow superannuation assets held by relevant parties during family law proceedings to be identified swiftly and more accurately from 2020. This measure was included as part of a broader financial support package for women announced on in November.
According to the Government, the proposed ATO information-sharing system will make it easier to identify lost or undisclosed super assets. It will help parties in family law proceedings, particularly women, avoid the cost and complexity involved in seeking superannuation information from multiple super funds, or subpoenaing employment records.
The Government considers that allowing the ATO to provide this information to the Courts will reduce the need for such exercises and ensure more just and equitable superannuation splitting outcomes.