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Flawed member data created during the formation of Media Super saw
some accounts of one of the preceding funds, JUST Super, hold duplicate records
without tax file numbers (TFNs), causing some member contributions to be taxed
at the full marginal rate in the 2007-08 financial year.  After the creation of Media Super in 2008 from
the merger of JUST Su­per and Print Super, the trustee found that some member
accounts held dupli­cate records – one with a TFN advised and another without –
that resulted in some contributions being taxed an ad­ditional 31.5 per cent.

“We
found that we had multiple accounts, and the TFN issue was there,” Ross Martin,
chief executive officer of Media Super, said. He said that member losses, which
were eventually repaid from the trustee’s expenses budget by October 2008,
numbered only in the hundreds of dollars, rejecting industry sources which
placed the reimbursements much higher. “It cost hundreds of dollars, not
millions, and the cases were limited – in the tens of members, not thousands.” It
is understood that Media Super’s application to the Australian Tax Office (ATO)
to be refunded the excessive tax payments was turned away because JUST Super,
seen as the entity owed the money, no longer existed.

 

A similar situation
befell Media Super when it belatedly applied to have JUST’s extinguished
capital losses reinstated to it, because the merger had taken place before the
Government granted CGT rollover relief for merging super funds last December. Martin
denied that that the fund sought repayment from the ATO on the TFN issue. “The
issue was the merger, and because of that, JUST didn’t exist. Normally it
wouldn’t be corrected intra-fund, but there was a merger at the same time. “We
didn’t apply to the ATO to get it back because it was an immaterial amount.

 

“We’re
talking about the tax on contributions for the year to June 30, 2008, which for
individual members would have been in the hundreds as they would have been
charged the 40 per cent tax rate. We’re talking small amounts of money.” He
said responsibility for the errors should not be placed on JUST Super’s
administrator, Superpartners, and they were more likely caused by employers
lodging multiple member contribution forms. “I’m not totally sure of the reason
why we had the multiple accounts. It’s more likely to have been with the infor­mation
supplied by employers.” He said the creation of multiple accounts for single
members was “a common problem for all administrators and industry funds”.

 

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