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Taxation and superannuation

We don't give advice about this area of law

The information below may help you to resolve your matter or find out who else can help. 

Income tax is money paid to the federal government from money (income) that you earn. If you think your income tax hasn’t been assessed correctly, you can lodge an objection with the Australian Taxation Office (ATO).

It’s a criminal offence to give false information to the ATO. The penalties for tax offences can be very serious. 

Superannuation (super) is a form of compulsory savings for retirement. Your employer must pay money into a superannuation fund. In special circumstances, you may be able to access your superannuation early. If you have concerns about your superannuation, you may be able to make a complaint. 

Taxation

Visit the ATO website for more information about:

  • income tax
  • Pay As You Go (PAYG) tax
  • Goods and Services Tax (GST)
  • tax returns.

Penalties for tax offences may be very serious and can include an order to pay a penalty to the government , a fine and possibly go to jail. If you’re charged with a taxation offence, get legal advice.

If you want to appeal a decision from the ATO you apply to the:

  • Administrative Appeals Tribunal
  • Federal Court or
  • ATO for your case to be funded through the test case program.

Superannuation

Superannuation is a way of saving money for your retirement while you work.

Your employer must pay money into a superannuation fund and you can also make voluntary contributions.

For more information about options contact your preferred superannuation fund.

In some situations you may be able to access your superannuation early. Contact the Department of Human Services or your superannuation fund for information. You may need private legal advice.

To make a superannuation complaint—contact your fund provider. If your issue isn’t resolved contact the:

  • Superannuation Complaints Tribunal, when your complaint is about trustees (eg unreasonable delay in payment, miscalculation of benefit)
  • Australian Taxation Office, when your complaint is about your employer who is not paying the superannuation contributions into your fund
  • Australian Prudential Regulation Authority, when your complaint is about complying with the superannuation laws
  • Trade Unions or Wageline or Industrial Relations Commissions, when your complaint is about your award or agreement
  • State Ombudsman, when your complaint is about the public sector (ie government agencies or departments)
  • Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS), who can consider your complaint if the dollar value of your claim is within the jurisdictional limits of the FOS. You should get legal advice before lodging a dispute with FOS.

Do I need legal advice?

You may need legal advice if you:

  • have a dispute about superannuation
  • are appealing an ATO decision and appearing in the Administrative Appeals Tribunal or the Federal Court
  • have been charged with a taxation offence.

How to get legal advice

We don’t give legal advice about taxation or superannuation. We may give legal advice about being charged with a taxation offence.

If you’re having difficulties paying your mortgage, we may be able to give you advice on how to access your superannuation early on compassionate grounds to prevent your home being sold by a creditor.

If you need specific legal advice about superannuation or taxation you will need private legal advice. The Queensland Law Society can refer you to a specialist private lawyer for advice or representation. They have lawyers who specialise in taxation law or may be able to help with superannuation disputes.

Who else can help?

The following organisations may be able to help. They don’t give legal advice.

Superannuation Complaints Tribunal helps with complaints about trustees, unreasonable delays in payment, and miscalculated benefit.

Australian Prudential Regulation Authority investigates breaches of the superannuation laws.

Wageline can help with questions about awards and employment agreements.

Industrial Relations Commissions can also help if you have a complaint about your award or agreement.

Queensland Ombudsman investigates complaints about the State Public Sector (government agencies or departments).

Australian Taxation Office (ATO) gives information about the taxation system and can explain the process for requesting an ATO decision be reviewed. They also help with complaints about employers not paying superannuation contributions into employee's funds.

Administrative Appeals Tribunal provides an independent merits review of administrative decisions, including ATO decision reviews.

Commonwealth Ombudsman considers and investigates complaints from people who believe they have been treated unfairly or unreasonably by a Commonwealth Government department, including the Australian Taxation Office.

Institute of Chartered Accountants can investigate complaints against accountants who are members. They also have a referral service to find chartered accountants with specific areas of expertise.

Tax Practitioners Board administers the registration of tax agents and can investigate complaints about the conduct of tax agents.

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